View the original blog post over on Greener Scotland
Greener living can enrich every part of our lives, and we can all play our part. From the clothes we wear to the buildings we inhabit, we can raise awareness and actively participate in environmental sustainability, reducing carbon emissions and making things last, starting right here in Scotland.
Vintage with a Modern Twist, the title of our recent themed evening with Blind Pig Cider, tapped in to a current and increasingly relevant school of thought, across the spectrums of sustainability and artistic expression. At our events, we fill spaces with creatives, and the creative spaces we select are a vital part of enhancing and enriching the experience.
We see this renaissance and restoration in the fabric of architecture. Take the buildings Glasgow, for example, the industrial heart of this land, ripped out post WWII and replaced with soulless concrete monoliths, only to be destroyed a few damp-filled decades later. As the demolition dust settles, the original breathtaking beauty of a bygone era is revealed, with those alluring old tenements and characterful factories ready for revamp, repair and rejuvenation.
Here in Edinburgh, our capital city, we are blessed with a rich and living history of spaces and places, lovingly conserved, with hardly a concrete block in sight, to blight the extraordinary Old and New Town cobbled streets.
This increasing awareness of the value of preservation is a refreshing and inspiring antithesis, to the insidious creeping of an all-consuming disposable society, from single-use indestructible plastics to fast fashion.
With these principles in mind, we ventured forth to find the right venue for this particular event, and returned to the Biscuit Factory in Leith, a raw, organic, industrial hive with echoes of Brooklyn or Berlin. This unique blank canvas harks back to the time of the speakeasys and underground establishments of days gone by. And who to awaken this dormant dreamspace? It simply had to be the supremely talented team from Stewart Christie & Co, Scotland’s oldest bespoke tailors, driven by the vision of Vixy Rae. We attended their new ownership launch and worked together on the epic Master of Ceremony shoot so collaborating once more for our evening of Vintage with a Modern Twist felt like a natural part of a trilogy. Vixy transformed the space, breathing life and warmth into it by draping rescued authentic Scottish textiles around the old pillars, and hanging poster-sized imagery, celebrating the craft of the cloth.
We’ve witnessed a resurgence of the value of well made garments and vintage stores in recent years, fuelled by the thrift required in a recession, alongside a highly educated and eco-savvy generation. But we have not seen a treasure trove to compare to the authentic archives of Stewart Christie & Co, spanning three centuries of exquisitely tailored clothing, and we are very fortunate to have this quality of craftsmanship in our country.
Our vintage theme was set, now for that modern twist! Award-winning GSA graduate KellyDawn Riot is a highly sought after pioneer of a new wave of ethical fashion designers. Supported by the Love Your Clothes campaign and Zero Waste Scotland, she embarked on a 6 month mentorship with Queen of upcycling, Orsola De Castro. It was at this time she produced her second collection ‘Formication’, an ethical menswear collection consisting of artisanal engineered prints produced from start to finish in Scotland. Pieces are made using remnants from local Scottish mills or natural fabrics such as cottons and linens, making them strong and durable, while the eco friendly printing techniques and the attention to detail ensure that each piece is a treasure: inspired by nature, designed for life. We were thrilled to be able to showcase Kelly’s latest collection, fresh from the runway of Brighton Fashion Week, to a captive audience individuals actively participating in a lifestyle of sustainable clothing.
The evening was a triumph, as like-minded creatives gathered in celebration of our heritage, enhanced by contemporary thought.