The Scottish Fashion Awards celebrated their fifth anniversary at Glasgow’s Science Centre in June, with Scotland’s top fashion talent greeted by a tartan carpet, and numerous celebrity appearances from Paulo Nutini, Diana Vickers, supermodel David Gandy and designers Amanda Wakeley and Jonathan Saunders.
The Journal spoke to two of Edinburgh’s finest fashion exports: Terri McGlone, winner of Scotland’s New Face award, sponsored by boohoo.com and Jett Sweeney, winner of the Scottish Graduate of the Year award, sponsored by Marks and Spencer.
Sweeney, 23, who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art this year, was up against fellow ECA student Nadia Scullion, Odette Valentine from London College of Art and Ingrid Garrioch from Grays School of Art. When the shortlist was announced, the nominees were given a brief by M&S designers to create a garment that could capture the eye of the brand's broad spectrum of customers. As designers, they were used to sleepless nights and deadline stress, but perhaps not on this scale. Sweeney claims the stress and sleepless nights are all worth it to be able to "watch a design go from just an idea to the catwalk, or being worn by someone you know."
Winning at the Scottish Fashion awards has given Sweeney’s burgeoning career a boost at its very beginning, a rare boon in the competitive world of fashion. Her plans for this year are impressive for such a new designer. "The M&S dress should be released around Christmas time," she says, "and a coat that I designed with fellow student Lisa Leisos for the Mackintosh brand is being produced as part of their bespoke collection for their new boutique in Mayfair”
16-year old, 6'1" Dunfermline native McGlone, meanwhile, only became a model a year ago when she was spotted by Stolen Model Agency co-owner Annalese MacDermott, while shopping with her grandmother on Edinburgh's Princes St.
Winning the Scotland’s New Face award has been life-changing for McGlone. she claims. As a child she was bullied because of her height, being 5”10 by the age of 11. "Because I was so tall I towered over everyone, I was called lamp post, ugly green giant, and big foot. When you hear that every day you start to think, I must be ugly," she tells us. Becoming a model and winning at the Scottish Fashion Awards has given McGlone the self-confidence that she previously lacked, and she’s no longer worried about what people think of her. McGlone won the opportunity to be the new face of boohoo.com, and was featured on the Storm Models website - the same agency as Kate Moss.
McGlone’s career ambitions of becoming a policewoman might seem a million miles away from modeling, but she is confident that modeling is helping her to fulfill her dreams. "Modeling teaches you to be confident, how to walk into a room and speak to people you have never met before, be organised and manage your time."
Edinburgh is clearly rife with hot new talent. You never know; you could be walking along Princes St and be scouted to be a model like McGlone, or you could be the next ECA student to have their designs produced for high street and boutique collections like Sweeney.
Look out for Sweeney’s dress in M&S in December, it will make the perfect Christmas party dress.