A Danish photographer (Eva Rodbro) and a Swedish artist (Charlott Markus) with a fascination for Edinburgh’s literary heritage and and appreciation of Harris Tweed have collaborated to produce a unique art exhibit called Tableau Noir.
Art and fashion have co-existed for centuries, indeed in many societies the love of fashion was born out of it being the most accessible and tangible form of art. Of this exhibit, Markus states: “When building an abstract room and covering everything, including the walls and the floor, with herringbone patterned harris tweed, the fabric will not only give an impression of its durability but more importantly represent strength by symbolizing a whole construction.”
The classic black and grey pattern, kindly donated by The Harris Tweed Authority, has given an animated element to the three dimensional structure and even in such dark hues there is a vibrancy to the cloth that helps with the artistic narrative. An admiration for Scots author James Hogg’s seminal work The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde have been successfully fused into classic film noir. After a successful debut at The Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, Tableau Noir will travel to Amsterdam, Copenhagen and is set to return to Edinburgh later in the year.
Continuing on the dark side, the biggest surprise of Katie Laing’s insightful journal on the dyeing of Harris Tweed is the extent to which black wool is needed when our skilled artisans are cooking up the colour for our yarns. It is hard to play down the influence of the uniquely blended Harris Tweed yarns on a fashion industry that craves original colour when the bursts of inspiration provided by a ‘Paris Pink’ or ‘Peacock Blue’ can shock the eye with pleasure.
Miranda Priestly , the thinly veiled Anna Wintour-inspired character in The Devil Wears Prada captivates this; “But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean….I think it was Yves Saint Laurent wasn't it who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers.”
A few seasons back Topman (main picture) purchased our YC140 fabric for a limited edition collection that premiered at London Fashion Week. The journalists loved the nuanced depth of colour and christened it Rust. The colour became one of the buzzwords of that autumn/winter season. All coming from the humble YC140 fabric.
‘From the land comes the cloth’ and sometimes from the cloth come fashion trends with a provenance even more sincere than the musings of WGSN. As the creative minds of the design houses begin to think about their collections for Winter 2015 the pots in the dye house will continue to churn out Paris Pink, Peacock Blue, black or cerulean and a spectrum of other exciting colours. All inspired by the Hebridean landscape and brewed to perfection in the Shawbost Mill on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.