Future fashion talent shines at St James Quarter

Stunning designs drawing upon a dizzying array of influences including wild gardens, 18th century corsetry and the Scottish landscape are among the collections at this year’s Edinburgh College of Art Fashion Show.

The outfits will be gracing the runway at the St James Quarter on Friday 10 June, showcasing the dynamic talent of students studying Fashion.

Future fashion stars

The electrifying live shows – tickets for which are available to buy via Eventbrite – will feature twenty collections displaying the skill, ingenuity and imagination of Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) students.

The show is supported by Edinburgh’s retail-led, lifestyle district St James Quarter, building on what the organisers say is the destination’s ethos of supporting the Edinburgh community and making a positive contribution to the city’s culture.

The fashion event is a celebration of the creative talent of this year’s ECA graduates, as well as alumni who graduated in 2020 and 2021. The inventiveness and artistry that overcame the challenge of Covid-19 restrictions will be centre stage.

Design influences

The front row only catwalk will include Cosimo Damiano Angiulli’s collection, which explores oceanic feelings, genderless love and cats and femininity. The sustainable garments use leftover fabrics from the fashion industry with a colour palette reflecting greens and blues of the sea.

Celia Birchall’s collection is inspired by gardens and the tension between wild and cultivated spaces. The geometry of flowerbeds and practices such as beekeeping, fruit picking and farming are embedded into her designs of forest green, dark tan and oatmeal with vibrant orange flashes in knitwear and finishes.

Ele Cundall’s captivating collection explores what it means to celebrate femininity by taking inspiration from the first female pilots who designed their own flight suits and combining it with 18th century corsetry. 

Esther Nixon’s intricate garments have been inspired by the role of crafting and community, pottery and 1980s prom nights. The collection offers a sensory experience with rich textiles and spectacular knits. 

Rowan Stallan’s collection explores the poetic character of an abandoned hotel on the west coast of Scotland in a small-town called Tighnabruaich. The dramatic garments explore themes of decay, the weather and the Scottish landscape.

In July this year St James Quarter will support ECA students’ attendance at Graduate Fashion Week in London – one of the fashion world’s biggest events for emerging stars.

Student successes

After making their Edinburgh debut twenty students will present their designs at Graduate Fashion Week, which showcases the work of students graduating from the UK’s leading fashion schools.

Edinburgh students have a strong track record at Graduate Fashion Week, with many scooping prizes awarded by the Graduate Fashion Foundation.

Fashion at ECA is renowned for developing a diverse spectrum of design skills among its students –   including brand development, inclusive design, sustainability, and technical and pattern-cutting skills.

Many students of the acclaimed course have gone on to influence all aspects of the industry. Many graduates are employed by leading fashion houses around the world.

“We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with St James Quarter for our show this year. This showcase of our talented future fashion stars will be testament to their resilience and ambition over the past two challenging years, and a reflection of the support of our dedicated staff and technicians.”
Mal Burkinshaw, Head of the School of Design at Edinburgh College of Art

“St James Quarter is passionate about supporting and nurturing local talent. We’re delighted to provide an opportunity for the incredibly talented Edinburgh College of Art graduates to shine and show off their creations.”
Nick Peel, Managing Director at St James Quarter

Jenny Prendergast, Programme Director of Fashion, said: “We are exceptionally proud of our talented final-year students and everything they have accomplished. The fashion show will showcase the creativity that is synonymous with ECA Fashion graduates.”

Three shows are taking place at the St James Quarter car park on 10 June.