How to experience the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2012

This article is from 2012

How to experience the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2012

A few hints and tips about the events on offer at Summerhall

The Edinburgh Festival covers many bases, but fashion wasn't one of them. Until this year, when Anna Freemantle, director of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival launched her 'overdue addition' to August's cultural events, with a weekend celebration of design, style, and creative talent. Claire Sawers rounds up some of the best ways to explore the programme


… at catwalk shows

Over the four nights of the festival, there will be a nightly catwalk show, followed by an after-party. Local legwear and bodysuit designers, Bebaroque, aka Mhairi McNicol and Chloe Patience present a runway show on the first night, followed by a fashion show from Scottish designer Aimee McWilliams, who studied at Central St Martins and worked as creative director at Balmain. The bold, often bodycon designs of Pam Hogg - she refers to herself as 'Caledonian Queen of Cling', counts Bobby Gillespie and Kate Moss among her friends, and has dressed Kylie in Rihanna in the past - will be shown in in a retrospective show. The theatrical, sensual designs of Danish fashion brand Borcher will bring a gothic fairytale feel to the closing night.

As part of a site specific catwalk show, Regent Bridge (behind Waverley Station and just before the Ingleby Gallery) will form the backdrop for a presentation of designs from Issey Miyake's 'PLEATS PLEASE' collection from 1993. It'll tie in with Callum Innes's new light installation, which floods the underside of the bridge with colour, and is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.

… at photography

An exhibition exploring the body's largest organ, its skin, will 'explore the human skin, finding beauty in the smell of cheeks, the aroma of full lips, the scents of the temple, a hairline or the shoulder blades'.


… about fashion's relationship to our identity

A talk entitled Dressing the Self: Art, Fashion and Neuroscience aims to look at our construction of self, and how the clothes we wear helps us create, express and define ourselves. The following day, guest speaker Lady Amanda Harlech, a muse, model, set dresser and collaborator to John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, will deliver a talk on the world of haute couture, followed by a Q&A.

… about the impact of the internet on fashion

Our window shopping habits have changed in the advent of the internet, as have our buying patterns. A talk from David Lindsay on The Changing Rules of Fashion in the Digital Age will look at the interplay between social networking, data sharing, style and retail.


… some backstage adrenaline

A series of three short films will be screened showing the backstage preparations in the run up to major catwalk shows in Milan and Paris. The first film of the Le Jour d'Avant series follows Karl Lagerfeld two days before a Milan showcase of new Fendi fur, ready to wear and accessories – expect private jets and steely looks from Karl. The following two (each under an hour-long) follow witty, smiley fashion designer and former Eurotrash TV presenter, Jean-Paul Gaultier and France's 'Queen of Knits', designer Sonia Rykiel, in the run-up to her family-owned firm's 40th anniversary with an October Parisian show. Expect emotions running high for Sonia Rykiel and her daughter and CEO Nathalie Rykiel.

… the power of a perfume

Sissel Tolaas is an expert in the intriguing sounding field of 'invisible communication', in other words, scents, odours and smells. She'll deliver a talk on how smell, can help us fulfil our full potential. 'We can be nothing without the nose,' she has said in the past. 'The moment we stop breathing we are dead. With every breath we take in thousands of molecules.'

Skin Portraits

Founder of Frazer Parfum Tammy Frazer collaborates with South African fashion designer Brett Rubin to create a photographic exhibition exploring the smell of human skin, complete with scents. Curated by Garreth Van Niekerk. Part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

Dressing the Self: Art, Fashion and Neuroscience

Professor Ludovica Lumer talks about identity, the self and the choices that we make when dressing ourselves and choosing how we look. In collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute. Part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

Sissel Tolaas

Scent expert Sissel Tolaas gives a talk about her work and career, as well as her work on a collaborative project with Berlin fashion designer, Kostas Murkudis. Part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

Art Late

Throughout the festival period, the city is alive at every hour of the day. Art Late is a series of specially programmed late openings and events, taking in exciting live music, performances, artist talks and tours. This year offers even more opportunities to enjoy our programme by night in the heart of the city.


Ultra-hip hosiery label Bebaroque, aka Chloe Patience and Mhairi McNicol, exhibits its collection in this exclusive runway show of hand-embroidered and screen-printed bodywear. Part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

Amanda Harlech

Muse and core collaborator to fashion royalty John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Amanda Harlech speaks about her career in fashion against the backdrop of a visual tour through couture pieces in her private collection. Q&A at the end of the talk. Part of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

Aimee McWilliams

Fashion designer Aimee McWilliams presents a runway show of pieces from fashion house Balmain where she was creative director in 2009 as well as pieces from her own luxurious label. Part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

The Day Before (Le Jour D’Avant)

  • 2009
  • US
  • Directed by: Loïc Prigent
  • Cast: Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfield, Lazaro Hernandez

A documentary series looking at the 36 hours leading up to a fashion show featuring big name designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Sonia Rykiel and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Pam Hogg

Scottish born fashion designer and musician Pam Hogg presents some of her most significant pieces from her AW/09 – AW/12 collections, including some of her stunning finale pieces. Part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.


A dark fairy tale-inspired fashion show featuring pieces from Danish designer Christina Borcher's latest collection. Part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival

A festival incorporating runway shows and glam afterparties, plus more intellectual talks on fashion-linked topics.

The Changing Rules of Fashion in the Digital Age

David Lindsay explores how technology and the internet are changing the way we shop and choose clothes.

Elsewhere on the web

Post a comment