July 2, 2019

July Shortlist – Can nostalgia and patriotism evoke emotionally durable connections within fashion?

Rosie Baird


My research began into the power of nostalgia in creating emotive bonds with objects, music and film. This lead to the exploration of patriotism- and in turn, Scottish culture. The six look collection clashes Scotland’s deep-rooted, rich contemporary arts culture, traditional Scottish dress, and a history of storytelling and wit, with the tacky side of the Scottish tourist industry- referencing many Scottish stereotypes in a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek way. Part of this research was the polysemic nature of tartan, leading me to develop my own tartan textile.

Sustainability and social awareness are at the core of my design process. I adopted a two-pronged approach to this- through seeking to use locally produced, sustainable materials and collaborating with local artisans; and through designing garments for longevity and functionality, with strong emotional durability, with the aim of reducing unnecessary consumption. Each individual garment within the collection is designed to have a life of its own, with layers of intricacy revealed as the wearer develops a connection with the piece. I believe that in order to encourage true sustainability, we must address the issue of over-consumption, and not rely on processes that tackle waste after it has been generated by the fashion industry.

-offcut, end of roll and reclaimed fabrics
-strips of scrap net and organza cut on the bias and hand appliquéd across the fabrics