By Claire Elliot
SCOTS fashion students hope to make their mark in the Far East with a range of clothing - made from Japanese-themed tartan.
The luxury garments, including a kimono-style coat, have been created by budding designers at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen.
Using tartans especially created for the Japanese market, their designs went on display in the city this week and are expected to feature on the cat walk in Japan later this year.
The students hope their creations will help change the image of the traditional tartan bonnet and trousers and show young people that tartan can be fashionable.
Student Sian Parker, 19, from Stonehaven, said: “When I think of tartan, I think of greens, browns and reds and something that the older generation would wear. But this makes it more appealing to us.
“You can’t reinvent tartan but what we’ve done is hopefully attract a wider audience by getting younger people more interested in it.”
She designed a bright purple kimono-style coat, with a vibrant pink and orange lining.
The oriental tartans are the creation of tartan designer David McGill, from Edinburgh, and Shizue Melvin, from Japan.
They began with a new cherry blossom tartan, which has now expanded into a four seasons collection, that draws on the flowers associated with Japan and the national colours of Scotland.
Their firm Sakura Scotland, which donated the tartan to the students, now hopes to showcase their work in Japan, as part of a Scottish Week being organised by the Japanese tourism department in September.
It is hoped a fashion show can be staged in Glover House, a major attraction in Nagasaki, which attracts around two million visitors each year.
Student Daniel Crozier, 21, from Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, said: “Tartan is one of the main things people think about when they think of Scotland. So it’s such a great idea to have a tartan to promote and understand both cultures.
"It has been really exciting to work with such colourful tartan that also has international significance.
"I've been working with a pink and green tartan, which is not traditional. It is something quite different.”
He used 25 meters of the cherry blossom tartan - which represents the cherry trees in Japan - to create a long pink and green Marie Antoinnette-inspired coat.
Students also incorporated tartans from north-east Scotland in their designs.
Mr McGill was inspired in the Japanese-Scottish connection by the stories of Thomas Blake Glover, the man dubbed the Scottish Samari.
The pioneering Scot made a vital contribution to Japan’s social and economic development towards the end of the 19th century and was the first non-Japanese to receive the Order of the Rising Sun.
Today Japan is still by far the largest market in the Far East for Scottish manufactured products.
In photo designer Daniel Crozier, model Kym McWilliam, model Emma Cummings and Designer Sian Parker.
In photo model Kym McWilliam
In photo model Emma Cummings