Scotland and the Fashion Industry

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Scottish clothing manufacturers, designers, and retailers tend to be of international significance only when they are linked to the knitwear or textile industry. Notable exceptions to this include the retailer John Stephen, who initiated the Carnaby Street boutique phenomenon of the 1960s, and the designers Bill Gibb, Alastair Blair, Pam Hogg, and Jean Muir. In the twenty-first century anonymous Scottish-based knitwear and textile designers continue to make an important contribution to international fashion, supplying international brands such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Ralph Lauren. Many twentieth-century fashion designers have referenced Scottish dress in some form in their collections. However, it is notable that it tends to be the more iconoclastic designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, and Alexander McQueen who repeatedly return to the use of either distinctively Scottish textiles, or the paraphernalia of Highland dress in their work. This demonstrates that despite the capacity of Highland dress and Scottish fashion textiles to encapsulate "authentic" reassuring connotations of history, they have also been endlessly reinvented to suit the changing character of fashion and popular notions of Scottish identity.

See also Kilt; Paisley; Plaid; Shawls; Tartan; Tweed; Uniforms, Military.


Allan, John. Crombies of Grandholm and Cothal 1805-1960: Records of an Aberdeenshire Enterprise. Aberdeen: The Central Press, 1960. Cheape, Hugh. Tartan the Highland Habit. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 1995.

Dunbar, John Telfer. The Costume of Scotland. London: B.T. Batsford, Ltd., 1981.

Gulvin, Clifford. The Tweedmakers: A History of the Scottish Fancy Woollen Industry 1600-1914. New York: Newton Abbott, David and Charles, 1973. Haye, Amy de la. The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion

1947-1997. London: V & A Publications, 1996. Lochrie, Maureen. "The Paisley Shawl Industry." In Scottish Textile History. Edited by John Butt and Kenneth Ponting. Aberdeen, Scotland: Aberdeen University Press, 1987.

Ormond, Richard. Sir Edwin Landseer. London: Thames and Hudson, Inc. New York: Rizzoli International, 1981.

Trevor-Roper, Hugh. "The Invention of Tradition: The Highland Tradition of Scotland." In The Invention of Tradition. Edited by Eric Hobsbawn and Terence Ranger. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Fiona Anderson

SEAMSTRESSES Seamstresses formed the main labor force, outside tailoring, which fueled the expansion of clothing production and related trades from the seventeenth century onward. This expansion was not dependent initially on technological developments or the introduction of a factory system, but on the pool of women workers. Their expendability and cheapness to their employers was effectively guaranteed by the sheer number of available women able and willing to use a needle, their general lack of alternative employment, and by the fact they then worked outside the control of guilds and latterly have been under-unionized. These seamstresses sewed goods for the increasing market for ready-made basic clothes such as shirts, breeches, waistcoats, shifts, and petticoats for working people, or slops as they were known (after the practice of sailors who stored their

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