EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL
Edinburgh International Fashion Festival- Summerhall August 16th-19th
The first Edinburgh International Fashion Festival in the Summerhall complex is an intriguing proposition showing an original way of showing and looking at fashion. Instead of concentrating on the shiny and new the emphasis shifts onto what makes fashion what it is. Not merely a way to keep warm it is generally the work of talented artists who have drawn inspiration from various sources-some historical, some fantasy and some practical-to create a garment for our everyday life or a special occasion.
This Festival has various workshops, screenings, shows and lectures which focus on the role of science and the arts in fashion. It is a brave idea and one which many will find intriguing as it will perhaps encourage them to look on fashion as a serious business and art form.
The venue which housed the launch retained many of the original features of the former Dick Vet complex and was simultaneously incongruous and pitch perfect. Long dank corridors, a wonky lift, interesting objets d’art scattered randomly and original nineteen twenties utility glass bricks all conspire to create an ambience a million miles away from the traditional venues many associate with fashion. Thus jewellery and dresses were in cages formerly used to keep various animals in-a metaphor about the trap of fashion and a warning to those who follow it slavishly could be read here- and it heightened the potency of the objects within rather than detracted from it.
My favourite room was the one featuring donations from fashion hauteur and acolyte-to John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld- Amanda Harlech which were quite stunning. Vintage Chanel couture dresses hung in solitary cages next to early Galliano whilst the walls were adorned with her paintings which made up a storyboard of her life. The dresses ranged from a stunning white –Dead Marilyn- floaty, sheer number, a stunning deep burgundy classic and a Chanel number which could have been designed as widow weeds for Miss Havisham in Dickens’s Great Expectations. There was also a simply breathtaking Galliano coat which bore all the hall marks and signature features which helped elevate him to being one of the world’s great couturiers.
This is a four day event and full details of various events can be found by clicking the link below detailing exactly what is on and when. For anyone with even a fleeting interest in fashion I recommend going along and checking it out.