The upper floor of the national design museum on the city’s waterfront was transformed for the opening night of the revived Scotland Re:Design Festival.
The runway models were given a standing ovation after a fashion show running for well over an hour in one of the biggest event staged at the museum since it emerged from the pandemic.
Designers showcased included Dundee’s Dreamland Clothing, Edinburgh-baed Freja Fashions, and Irregular Sleep Pattern and Finneston Clothing, both based in Glasgow.
The return of the flagship showcase for the country’s leading designers and textile companies, which has been staged around the world since 2005, is aimed at encouraging people to “buy Scottish and shop locally” this year.
Both the runway show and the festival programme, which is running until Sunday, have been designed under the themes of sustainabilty, equality and technology in fashion by fashion social enterprise Scotland Re: Design.
The runway show, which was staged in collaboration with the Model Team Scotland agency in Glasgow, was planned as a major fundraiser to help revive an industry said to be worth £2.8 billion to the Scottish economy and supporting more than 29,000 jobs pre-Covid.
Other designers showcased at the runway event included Dundee’s Hayley Scanlan, Jo-Ami and Isolated Heroes, Glasgow-based House of Black, Siobhan Mackenie, from the Black Isle, in the Highlands, and
V&A director Leonie Bell described the event as “a celebration of fashion in and from Scotland, and a tribute to all those that work with such commitment to support fashion, and events like this.
She added: “The fashion industry has a really important role to play in promoting equality, sustainability and diversity.”
Model Team Scotland director Michael O’Brien said: “For us this unique and vital platform in Scotland enables our new faces to experience a quality runway show, meet with brands and designers here, and carve out successful international careers.”
The festival is being backed by the Scottish Government’s official Events Recovery Fund.
Paul Bush, director of events at VisitScotland, said: “We are proud to support Scotland Re:Design’s fashion festival.
“The festival will showcase Scotland’s top and emerging design talent for five days through a range of creative content and events.
“Following the week of COP26, sustainability will naturally be a prominent theme throughout, with a clear message to shop Scottish and shop locally.
“We are pleased that this festival joins our diverse portfolio of events and festivals that deliver sustainable impacts and spotlight Scotland, as the perfect stage for events”.
V&A Dundee opened in September 2018 and had attracted more than a million visitors by February of last year, shortly before it was forced to close to the public due to the pandemic. It has since hosted major exhibitions on iconic fashion designer Mary Quant and the evolution of nightclubbing and club culture around the world.
The attraction secured national status from the Scottish Government and an additional £2m a year in funding for the next three years in the spring. The funding, which is said to be critical in giving V&A Dundee “long-term financial sustainability,” will safeguard around 100 jobs at the £80 million complex, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.