Scottish fashion

Tartan and tweed get street cred with sleek silhouettes and luxe textures

Featured October 09 Words by Jeroen Bergmans
Scottish fashion

LOCATION (above): Loch Glass

Mohair tweed jacket (£680) from Vivienne Westwood Red Label; cotton spandex jersey unitard (£28) from American Apparel; leather lace-up boots (£265) from Paco Gil

Dalmore jacket (£250) from Harris Tweed; white tank top (£10) from American Apparel; black straight-leg jeans (£80) from French Connection; cashmere scarf (£59) from Brora; gold tassel scarf (£35) from Reiss; black belt with silver buckle (£135) from Dunhill; military boots (£165) from All Saints Spitalfields

LOCATION (above): Dunrobin Castle

Brown suede and faux fur gilet (£299) from Karen Millen; tartan dress (£500) from Vivienne Westwood Red Label; leather lace-up boots (as before)

Charcoal and red check flannel jacket (£450) and grey flannel flat cap (£60) both from Hackett; black roll-neck top (£99) from Jaeger; black straight-leg jeans (as before); scratch zip boots (£160) from All Saints Spitalfields

LOCATION (above): Assynt House

Green V-neck sweater (£195) from Brora; Noir Wesson shirt (£85) and boots (£165) both from All Saints; wool and tweed kilt (POA) from 21st Century Kilts; vintage scarf (£35) from Lyle & Scott

LOCATION (above): Loch View from Thomas Telford Bridge

Beige trenchcoat (£360) from Laura Lees; Zsa Zsa black bodysuit (£350) from Bebaroque; red wool tartan shorts (£135) from Paul & Joe Sister

LOCATION (above): Loch View from Thomas Telford Bridge

Herringbone V-neck jumper (£130) from Jaeger; red/grey checked roll-up, long-sleeve cotton shirt (£65) from Full Circle; jeans (£25) from J by Jasper Conran; boots (as before)

LOCATION (above): Dunrobin Castle

Green tweed coat (£1,200) from Vivienne Westwood Gold Label; mini skirt (£285) from Kiera; brown tartan shoes (£195) from Mascaro; black wood buttons and amber necklace (£22) from Pebble

Philip Volkers

Wendy Tee

Victoria Clarke

Neil Smith

Jeroen Bergmans

Alex ( Adam (


Gatwick Express
Andy Hughes,
Dunrobin Castle

s£1 = €1.15


Scotland's roll-call of world-famous inventors, which includes Alexander Graham Bell (the telephone); John Logie Baird (the television); and John Boyd Dunlop (the tyre), goes to show that this country is a hotbed of innovation. The Scots are also masters at keeping their colourful culture relevant to the modern traveller. This year, hundreds of quirky events across the land have marked the 250th anniversary of the poet Robert Burns' birth, and if you fly to Inverness this autumn, you'll be able to catch numerous festivals set against the lochs and spectacular landscapes of the Highlands (click onto for inspiration). Highlights include the Highland Homecoming ( from 19-31 October, the World Porridge Making Championships on 11 October ( and Whisky Week from 1-7 November ( Plus, if you're travelling to the Highlands in the first half of the month, there's still time to visit the spectacular Dunrobin Castle ( with its landscaped gardens, coastal views and daily falconry displays, before it closes for the winter.


Way back in 1823, Charles Macintosh was recognised for his chemical discoveries, which included a waterproof fabric that spawned the raincoat that bares his name and which we still wear today. Just 20 years later, the Dowager Countess of Dunmore, a close friend of Queen Victoria, commissioned a handwoven wool fabric that was christened Harris Tweed. This hardy fabric has been sported by everyone from royals to fictional characters such as Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie's eagle-eyed sleuth Miss Marple. Clint Eastwood made the Harris Tweed jacket iconic in Dirty Harry in 1971, paving the way for numerous celebrities, including Guy Ritchie and Madonna, to adopt this quintessentially British look. Although couture labels such as Prada, Yves Saint Laurent and Dior, and maverick designers from Vivienne Westwood to John Galliano added Harris Tweed's distinctive, coloured check to their collections, its fortunes have fallen in recent years, prompting a new contemporary collection of sports jackets that can be paired with jeans, an open-neck shirt and boots (

That other Scottish wardrobe staple, cashmere, was given a modern makeover in 1993 when Victoria Stapleton founded Brora (, a mail-order business selling jumpers and cardigans with sophisticated silhouettes and subtle, natural hues. With fans including Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jane Birkin, her brand flourished and she opened independent outlets, adding tailored jackets, tweed skirts and printed silk dresses to her collections. Even the Scottish kilt has caught the eye of today's taste-makers, thanks to Howie Nicholsby who founded 21st Century Kilts ( in 1996, creating customised, pleated creations in leather, tweed and tartan for both men and women.

Then there's a whole new generation of 21st-century Scottish designers who have developed their own distinctive styles based on traditional tailoring techniques. Laura Lees ( started out making one-off pieces of "graffiti embroidery" for the likes of Giles Deacon and Luella Bartley and after founding her own label, her signature zig-zag stitching and appliqué motifs made it into major collections for Topshop and Selfridges. Mhairi McNicol and Chloe Patience combined their skills in embroidery and print-making and founded awardwinning bespoke hosiery label bebaroque (, and Keira Thorley ( creates edgy capes, jackets, skirts and clutches in butter-soft leather inspired by the likes of Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe and Coco Chanel.


This elegant, Grade II-listed Georgian house was a virtual ruin when enterprising Scots Graham and Elizabeth Waugh first stumbled across it back in 2002. Originally built as the Dower House for the Novar Estate in Evanton just 20 minutes north of Inverness, its grand façade still stood, but its roof had all but collapsed. Four years of restoration followed and when it re-opened as Assynt House (, a stunning, sevenbedroom retreat available for exclusive use, VisitScotland awarded it five stars, one of only two properties with this prestigious accolade in the Highlands. Each bedroom is en suite, there are 2.5 hectares of landscaped gardens and the enormous kitchen is fully kitted-out for self-catering (unless you prefer Graham to cook up a meal to order).

Activities in the area include salmon fishing, dolphin watching, pony trekking and trail riding and there are over a dozen golf courses nearby, making a stay in Assynt House a five-star experience at a fraction of the price of a hotel (a week's stay for 14 people costs £3,500 (€4,000) - that's around £71 per room per night).

Jeroen Bergmans

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