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Graduates to Watch: Kirsty Elizabeth MacLennan

June 28, 2013

FashionLondon | by Danny & Josh

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One of the standouts from this year’s crop of fashion graduates is Kirsty Elizabeth MacLennan. Leaving Scotland’s Heriot Watt University with a first, her graduate collection marks her as one to watch.


The collection is entitled ‘Black Butterflies’ and uses a palette comprising of cream, black and gold. A key aspect is the play on contrasting textures; the materials used range from lace and tulle to powernet, leather and wool. Kirsty reveals that her inspiration for the collection was the life of Ingrid Jonker, a South African poet, who is in some ways comparable to Sylvia Plath, as a female poet struggling with depression. The design juxtapositions in the ‘Black Butterflies’ collection reflect the contrasts of Jonker’s flamboyant personality and her fight with depression.


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One of the most interesting aspects of Kirsty’s work is her attention to detail and technical skill. Every piece of lace embellishment was hand beaded, painted and sewn; the metal washers used instead of sequins to give an edgier feel were all painted by hand. The craftsmanship alone would make Kirsty a graduate to take notice of, and combined with the powerful yet subtle concept inspiring the collection has resulted in a well deserved nomination for Graduate of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards, to be held in London in October.


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What does the future hold for Kirsty? She aspires to have her own label, but ‘on the way, venture away from Scotland to discover new things, see new sights, and find new inspiration.’


To see more of Kirsty’s work check out her website here.


Isobel Urwin