Saturday, 13 September 2014

EXHIBITION| Mairi McDonald SS15

For SS15 Scottish designer Mairi McDonald, a self-confessed 'rock-chick', showcases her edgy collection inspired by past strong-willed women of the music industry.

Can you talk us through your collection here at Fashion Scout?

The collection is called Queens of Noise and it's inspired by the 1970s band The Runaways and that sort of challenge of females in an industry that was male dominated. I was also interested in the crossover of androgyny with people like David Bowie, so I worked with baroque and gilded to create neat, 1970s intricate silhouettes.

What other techniques did you use in your design process?

I've used things that would be of the time, so a lot of macramé and leather work but I used it in a modern sense, so punching into the leather and creating all the structure with crocheted macramé while also keeping it black. I then used baroque for inspiring the knitwear. All my knitwear pieces are very bespoke and they're massive showpieces.

I see you've merged your heritage into your designs.

A little bit yeah, I love baroque lace which is a Scottish lace so I've used that in a kilt   which goes with a double breasted military kilt jacket,  though my main impulse is rock'n'roll and strong iconic women in the music scene.

You're not a seasonal label, tell me a little bit about why you chose to design in this way?

My work is inspired by a new story each time and my ethos is that nothing becomes redundant. It doesn't die after six months. It's the point that I'm not specifically trend-led, my work is more so investment pieces, things that people are going to have forever. It's limited edition, so it's buying into the brand and the brand signature.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

It's quite laid back glamour. There's really a high standard of craftsmanship and it's labour intensive but it's not just red carpet, one at a time pieces. The fact that you're buying into the brand means that you can wear it in so many different ways. It's just about turning on the head what you see as glamour and having a little bit of fun with fashion but it always has to be a feminine, sexy, wearable silhouette. I'm not an avant-garde designer, I design clothes women want to wear. 

Where are you based?

I'm based in Glasgow. I studied at LCF and I worked in London for a few years. I worked for design companies in Glasgow for a couple of years and then last year I decided to start my own label. 

Tell us a little bit about your Fashion Scout experience so far.

Yeah, it has been great, it's a really nice atmosphere. There's such a nice vibe, it's a really exciting atmosphere and it's nice to be a part. It doesn't feel pressurised either which is nice. As soon as you come in you feel a nice vibe and you know it's going to be a good show. Everyone here is looking out for each other and that's the way it should be.

By Clarissa Waldron, (@thisisclarissa).Photos by Elizabeth Hodson