Fashion, Stirling Castle

26 May 2016

Everything old is new again

New Renaissance is the result of a collaborative project between Historic Environment Scotland and Craft Scotland to provide opportunities for members of the local community to work with practicing contemporary makers, creating new designs including headpieces, costumes and jewellery.

This project is inspired by the magnificent Renaissance surroundings of Stirling Castle.

The project was supported through Craft Scotland’s Meet Your Maker programme, Stirling Festival of Architecture and Historic Environment Scotland’s programme celebrating Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016.

Creative Industries students from Forth Valley College worked with renowned Scottish Milliner Sally-Ann Provan and costume designer for Historic Environment Scotland, Diana Guthrie-James, to design and construct new work. The students benefited from the experience of working directly with practising designers and learned new skills including authentic techniques like slashing, blackwork and ruff making. The finished pieces were captured in a fashion shoot in the Great Hall and proudly modelled at the recent In Vogue event at the castle on the Renaissance runway.

Costume designer Diana Guthrie-James said, “The students got a lot out of this project, working directly with practising designers and learning new skills. They did a wonderful job, and their work is now on display for a truly international audience at Stirling Castle.”

Local adult leaner groups from Artlink Central also worked over a number of weeks with jeweller Laura Murray, creating their own pieces inspired by the rich, colourful designs discovered whilst exploring the castle’s architecture and interiors. They followed the design process through from initial ideas and sketches through to bespoke and imaginative pieces. The project also enabled participants to learn new skills, work with unfamiliar material and socialise with new friends.

Commenting on the exhibition, Learning Development Officer Kirsten Wood said, “Developing the New Renaissance exhibition was a really fun experience. The students spent a lot of time at the castle researching its history before coming up with their designs, and it’s been great to have them here. James V, who commissioned the palace for his queen Mary of Guise, was an avid arts collector, so in his time Stirling Castle would have been a hub of craft and design. Working on this project has really brought that to life, and the final exhibition is spectacular.”

New Renaissance is on display in the Castle’s Nether Bailey Exhibition Room until the end of September and is included in admission price.