From Paris to Peterhead: how Scottish fashion has consistently flown under the radar – until now!

For a small country, Scotland has long enjoyed an outsized presence on the global stage – the phrase ‘punching above its weight’ could have been coined for it.


With an enviable heritage in literature, cinema, music and architecture among numerous other fields (from the discovery of penicillin to the invention of the television), Scotland continues to exert a remarkable international influence across a whole range of different cultural spheres.


Having said that, one area where Scotland’s influence has tended to be somewhat overlooked (despite being undeniable!) is in fashion. Perhaps this is partly because Scottish fashion has tended to be viewed, very unfairly and one-dimensionally, as being somewhat conservative and orthodox.

But in reality, what defines Scottish clothing and textile design is its willingness to celebrate its fashion heritage while also being prepared to experiment with it, continually pushing it into new territory and keeping it contemporary.

With a little help from two of our favourite Scottish bloggers, we’ll take a closer look at the modern-day influence of the Scottish fashion industry and see which trends are making an impression on catwalks the world over. 

Scottish-influenced fashion trends

Beautiful tartan scarves are a cornerstone of Scotland’s contribution to global fashion.


Scotland’s fashion scene continues to be highly productive and inventive, and this is something which is increasingly being recognised internationally. Over the last couple of years in particular, the Scottish influence on global fashion trends hasn’t been difficult to spot.


Perhaps inevitably, Scotland’s fashion output tends to reflect its somewhat windswept climate! We spoke to Wendy Gilmour, who blogs at thankfifi, and Ellis Cochrane of Ellis Tuesday, both of whom made a similar point – when it comes to autumn-winter fashion, Scotland really is a global trend leader; what’s more, this influence is one that’s likely to stick around for some time to come.


“Scottish textures and weaves have been huge on the winter catwalks in particular, being incorporated by everyone from Chanel to Zara,” Wendy explained. She continued:

“I was personally delighted to see tartan make such a strong impact in AW18 and hope it makes a return this winter too – such a beautiful way to include texture and pattern into fashion and such a lovely nod to our Scottish heritage.”


Ellis, meanwhile, pointed out that the old fashion favourite with which Scotland remains synonymous – tartan – is very much back in:


“For me, Scotland’s most notable trend when it comes to global fashion has got to be tartan. Seeing the classic check fabric appear on the runways of the likes of Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Burberry and Moschino gives me a real sense of national pride,” she told us.


“Now when I think of autumn/winter trends in particular, the first one that springs to mind each and every year is tartan and plaid, proving that it’s not just currently on trend but a timeless fabric in every weather,” Ellis added.


The future of Scottish fashion

 Tweed is a mainstay of Scotland’s fashion heritage; high-quality, enduring and timeless.

The remarkable rebirth of Scottish fashion and design over the last few years is showing no signs of slowing up. The country’s experimental young designers are gleefully foraying down all sorts of avant-garde paths, while others are exploring new possibilities for heritage design, putting a refreshing spin on traditional knitwear, tartan and tweed styles.


One thing is for sure: Scottish fashion has already stood the test of time. As long as there are people looking for timelessness and sophistication in their choice of attire, there’ll always be a strong demand for Scottish-inspired apparel.


Fashions come and go, but enduring quality consistently sticks around, whatever goes on elsewhere.