January 09, 2013 London
A blown-up Fraser tartan became one of the key focuses of the clothing, transforming the traditional Scottish fabric into something altogether more contemporary. "The Scots can be bloody precious about their tartans," said Grant. "But it is such a beautiful thing that just lends itself to playing with color and scale." The intention was to keep the Scots' tradition alive in this collection but move it forward into the contemporary world and out of a dusty fabric swatch archive.
Here the traditional ghillie suit—worn for deer-stalking—was mixed with the idea of the shell suit, plus-fours morphed into jogging bottoms. And yet these looks were accomplished with ease; nothing was forced or gimmicky or, heaven forbid, cheap-looking. Even a vulgar wallpaper observed in one of Gus Wylie or Paul Strand's photographs of Hebridean islanders produced a desirable silk-wool jacquard that appeared on slim-fit trousers and shirts. And the frequent rust accents in the collection? They were in fact inspired by the rusty abandoned cars to be found littered all over the island of Harris.
"A friend of mine who grew up there said these cars act like some sort of youth center," said Grant of this particular inspiration. "They are where all of the teenagers go to drink, take drugs, and have sex. It's that thing about the British working class having so much in common with the aristos in this collection—they share all of the same ideas, that joy for life and eccentricity." And this is just the wardrobe to do it in.