Dismantling the Narrative of Support

I really do owe a debt of gratitude to the Scottish fashion community (and just as importantly the Scottish film community too). You really know how to un-person your own creative talent and destroy your own narrative about how important it is to support anything Scottish from fashion events YOU demand through to films that you have no clue how to sell or finance, they have to be supported because Scotland. It really is amazing to me that geography trumps business.

We had a realistic line in the sand over what our expectations for the pop-up show and what it would bring, it was being used as a stepping stone to create more and it was going to be difficult to push without support and without a huge amount of effort on our part. That we did. We spent money on ads, we spent hours contacting businesses from self employed buyer through to the Scottish fashion community and of course the press who’s client base was exactly the same as we needed at the event.

The outcome of this?

I see right through you

Well it was simple. Everyone, and I do mean everyone from the Enterkine Hotel through to the various fashion based individuals such as the bloggers, fashion index and calendar (all with the geographic tag of Scotland) declined or ignored the messages and attempts to reach out to them. So the people who were crying out for fashion shows, to be taken as seriously in the market as the rest of the UK, particularly London, all of them sat on their hands.

This was an absolutely insane move on all fronts, what could have and should have been an opportunity to promote Scotland as a viable entity in the market was ignored. What was an easy sell in London we knew would take a little more effort up here, and it was within the interest of all parties to make it work.

So why didn’t they? I have some theories on this:

We went outside the prescribed norms and did this without permission or consent from the cliques. By this I mean simply we didn’t approach any of the current “collective” teams of makeup artists, photographers and those who are “running” the social media groups for the “fashion industry in Scotland.”

Everyone sat and waited to be asked. A prime example of this was models. Scottish Agencies wanted between 10 and 100 times the going rate of London to provide models for a show, no negotiations, no information on what “industry standard” rate of pay they required would be, just that they wanted that for their models AND a consultation fee for last minute booking and arrangement. Oddly they were un-surprised at the details of the event and just asked for money with no clear definable boundary as to why the rate was set so high. Something I have noticed is the minute you mention budgets, no matter the skill level its automatically pay me industry rate, usually the top level rate for time served (eg senior rate for 10 year plus staff) to someone who has Zero experience or has never been paid for the various “indie” projects on their CV.

*In London, agencies will loan out new faces on request for shows and use it as a platform to create other business as they know that a successful show will generate look books, editorials (paid) and advertorials. So they generally accept expenses for the models on the understanding that its a trade test.

Expanding on the waiting to be asked notion, where were the creatives from makeup and photography? What was the issue? You will pay a small fortune to go to London and complain that Scotland should have professional shows that you can cover so why didn’t you step up and ask for info or try and get a foot in the door using the trade test logic or at least support it? What were you waiting for an engraved invitation? The networking potential was there but you didn’t take it. Does that trip to London generate business or are you just sending images on spec to papers and magazines (usually low end) in the hopes of getting published, why not do that for a Scottish show? You wanted it, we created it, you ignored it.

One thing that was said that still confounds me was the hotel, the Enterkine house hotel in Annbank near Ayr. When questioned on their lack of support for the show, the Owner begged me to do something to promote her hotel hence bringing London and international designers for a show, the manageress stated “we don’t promote outside events and anyway I had no idea how to promote a fashion event.” So the ticket link and details were not enough? You can’t work with social media? A simple share on your social accounts would have been a step in the right direction.

So with all this in mind, I want to again state my thanks to the Scottish fashion (and film/TV) circuit for opening my eyes to how the demand to be taken seriously in the industry only stretches as far as talk.

I will always be proud of my Scottish heritage but from here on, thats as far as it goes. I see right through the support Scottish creatives talk and know thats all it is. Talk.

Introducing Ladylike Rebel Modern Vintage Dresses

I am really excited about the upcoming show as I will not only be meeting but also shooting editorial content and a look book for the fantastic Ladylike Rebel clothing line. I was fortunate enough to get some extra info that I could share with you all about this fun, quirky beautiful clothing line.

Ladylike rebel velvet dress

When I was a little girl, I had a favourite doll. Funnily enough, she was named after me or better still, I was named after her.

I used to sew clothing for her and for myself on my mother's vintage Singer sewing machine. I used to draw and sketch out my designs and was inspired and fascinated by the old Hollywood starlets and the beautiful dresses and their personal style. (I still am!)

I was head strong, girly but a tomboy when I chose to be. Feminine but a ‘Rebel’ too. My childhood nickname was 'Trouble' (but I really was a good girl) I knew what I wanted out of life even then. That little girl lived her 'adult' life through that scruffy little doll. I imagined all the things I wanted to do, wanted to be, and wanted to achieve before I was 30 through playing with that Sindy Doll. I dared to dream. My goodness, it's taken a while. 

I needed to live life as an grownup for a while so that I can finally achieve one of my biggest personal aspirations. That need to create and achieve has carried me through my adult and family life, spurring me on until now.

And yes, It's taken a good while.  But I'm finally here. It's time to share my childhood dreams combined with my womanly imagination. Fashion to me is an art gallery filled with skill, imagination, culture, innovation, history and everything I love COMBINED. The garments I create are more than stitched up pieces of fabric. Each garment tells a story of artistic freedom and foretell the wearer’s individuality. Each piece is just like an artist’s canvas. The stitching is the brushes, the fabrics are the paints and the designs are each new canvas. 

“…Create the things you wish existed!”  To me, you must design a garment you would love to wear yourself because if you don’t love it, nobody else will!

I live for vintage styled dresses, especially around the 1950's era which I adore. As as child, I was obsessed with deconstructing dresses and putting them back together again from scratch. I needed to know how they were made to look like they did. So a few years ago, I finally attended the London College Of Fashion to specifically to learn the traditional ‘draping’ technique, the construction, fitting. Best thing I ever did. I love that era within fashion for the simple fact that the women looked so feminine. There is an particular ‘Lady Like’ elegance I revel in and I just adore. I just wants to be a part of that and share my Lady Like but Rebellious vision of women’s fashion. Pushing boundaries and thinking beyond the usual. The new rule of fashion is that there are NO RULES! It’s about taking yourself out of your comfort zone just a touch and trying something a little different and unexpected. And that is the way I wish to create beautiful clothing.

“Where Vintage, Modern and Couture Beautifully Collide!”

My brand motto is made up of who I am and what I would like myself and the brand to become: 

Vintage, classic influence, production and styling. Modern and sustainable use of fabrics and accessories - reducing my “Fashion Footprint”Couture creations made to measure and designed specifically to be individualistic and unique Design production in small quantities to ensure brand exclusivity

A thought, a movement, a brand.

To put it simply, I'm still that little girl, living in a Modern world, who finds joy creating Couture and who's inspired by her love of Vintage in her little country Atelier…

LadyLike Rebel will be at the Enterkine Country House Hotel on the 21st for the popup show alongside Lost Project and D-ink.

A Question for Creatives

Over the last two months I have been talking about a Scottish fashion event, a range of Prestigious brands from London, who will come to Scotland and showcase their designs and work here in what could and should be a huge market for designer clothing, a market that has demanded that it be taken seriously in the fashion stakes yet here we are just over a week away and the ticket sales are stagnant, the press and councils event departments, creatives ranging from makeup staff to photographers and even the fashion bloggers have been markedly quiet.

creative questions

Why is that? As a former writer for a fashion and lifestyle magazine I can tell you that people will flock to London for events UNPAID for the prestige, run riot at shows with their demands and attitude (getting them barred), but when it comes to Scotland you all go quiet. Strange that.

What exactly are you waiting for an engraved invitation begging you to bring your newly minted “skills” and “talents” to a show?

Where are the makeup staff who all claim to be editorial and fashion artists? Here is a chance to be a part of a team that will showcase and bring designers to Scotland but you are all sitting on your hands. Is it because your not being begged to work or being given an award for your selfies?

The ongoing complaint I hear Scottish creatives is “we don’t know any better,” OK thats cool, so when an opportunity comes up what do you do? Sit back and wait to be asked to come on board and be applauded for doing the job you are “passionate” about. Smart move.

Come on folks, you want the events, you want the professional credentials then earn them by working WITH others or here is what I did, CREATE SOMETHING.

Stop complaining that no one is GIVING you the chances to showcase your talent when you are not reaching out to the people creating the events. Assistant is not a dirty word. Its part of the journey.

The way this is going Scotland will lose creative talent. If you won’t hire talent, if you won’t support your own, then me and others like me who are trying to create will just pack up and go where we are valued.

If you are unwilling to do the work to be at the top, then you cannot and should not be demanding reverential treatment.

So here is my big question for the creatives out there. What are you waiting for?