I think it’s safe to say that my relationship to fashion is like that between a brooding teenage boy and an over-eager teenage girl… me being the brooding teenage boy with my sleepy eyelids and “fashion” being the ever present teenage girl throwing herself at me despite my disengagement. I don’t think about clothes- I don’t and haven’t ever bought magazines… I am often found wearing black- because colour demands a high level of maintenance…
I have never even considered the career path for a fashion designer- I have never thought about those who have a passion for fabric and how they come to create garments or a career- I have never been to a runway show- until last night.

When I first walked into Studio 10 at Frasers Studio- there was all you would expect of the “backstage” aspects of a fashion show- light framed mirrors- with people in versions of toolbelts but for make-up, hair being teased and sprayed- dresses and models busy with last minute preparations- and a growing audience slowly accumulating… I watched, like a backstage documentarian as the start time approached… and read the program:

“Tonight is a celebration of four young artists who were chosen byy our Mentors to participate in this program. Since then these young people have worked day and night to get their original collections realisd and ready for tonight’s cat walk. The project asked these emerging Designers to believe in themselves and to put their creativity out into the public arena.. a very scary thing indeed…”

After a slight delay- the audience were welcomed to head into Studio 12- traditionally a space used for gallery exhibitions- this time a large black-felt runway had been constructed complete with silver scaffolding and lights running on either side of the cat walk… impressive, galmourous and completely unexpected this was fashion’s missing link- a truly engaging and professional emerging artists presentation.

Descriptions of the collections inspired by kalaidoscopes, origami, the modern-god and superheros- themed the hour long presentation which was complimented by the very powerful and professional electro-pop girl group “The Skanques” who sang out loud and proud in two original sassy teen anthems.

Only hindered by momentary glitches of technical mischief- this was a very slick and powerful showcase- allowing each artist to present their ideas as a curated showcase. For work which has taken 4 months of preparation- to be presented by models and designers who are not yet professional- this was a stunning acheivement. (Not only because I don’t have a relationship with fashion). I learnt alot last night- about the value of mentorship and about the focus it takes for all artforms to be presented to a room full of people (who may or may not be converted to the concept of clothing as art)- that all models are beautiful regardless of what they are wearing or what they look like because they give us permission to look at them for their silent beauty and their confidence (and that permission is a beautiful and generous act). And finally, I learnt that I really like clever and sassy electo-pop girl bands!

For more info about AYT head to:
For more information contact:
JAMES WINTER (Artistic Director)