Edinburgh Napier University has continued its quest to promote both the University and Scotland as a whole within the USA. Each year, second and third-year Graphic Design students compete to have their work shown in New York's ever-expanding Tartan Week celebrations. This year's brief is to design a campaign promoting Scottish Education.
Tartan Week, and particularly the Dressed to Kilt charity fashion show, have received significant media attention over the past few years, providing the perfect platform for budding Scottish talent. Tartan Week comprises a variety of events including Whisky Live, an evening of Scottish food and whisky, the Tartan Day Parade, a 10k run throughout Central Park, and the Dressed to Kilt charity fashion show, all designed to celebrate Scottish-American heritage and culture.
The proceeds of the Dressed to Kilt show all go to charity. This year the show is supporting the Wounded Warrior Project, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Erskine Hospital in Scotland.
Unbelievably, Dressed to Kilt is the highest profile Scottish event in the world - even including those in Scotland! Last year Sir Sean and Lady Connery hosted the event, and Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl heart-throb) modelled for Edinburgh-based designer Joey D. Not only is the fashion show highly frequented by A-listers, but it also features some of the world’s top designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.
Last year's winner, Vikki Cameron, 3rd year Edinburgh Napier graphic design student, is a prime example of what a success the competition has been in previous years. Each graphic design student was asked to design a piece of clothing incorporating the Edinburgh Napier tartan. Cameron won over the panel of judges with her proposal, had her dress design made by Kinloch Anderson kilt makers and was featured in the Dressed to Kilt show. She travelled to New York as part of her prize and had the opportunity to meet influential figures within the fashion world, increasing an ever-valuable contact base as well as having the trip of a lifetime.
This year the students are again competing for the once-in-a-lifetime trip. The brief is to 'sell Scotland', re-branding Scotland as well as promoting higher education at Edinburgh Napier University. One of the many groups competing for the prize of a trip to NYC in order to implement their proposal is a group of six second and third-year students from Edinburgh Napier.
Joni Langdale, Rebecca Moyes, Rachel Gilchrist, Louise Scott, Jamie Duncan and Samuel Ngai have been working on a proposal to promote the idea that education in Scotland is taking on new forms, expressed via the concept of a changing tartan. As such, the campaign aims to fit perfectly within the Tartan Week in New York. Through the use of illustration the group have developed the idea of using varying multimedia in order to show these changes while still keeping it very Scottish.
Using the tagline “Design education in Scotland is taking on new shapes, and is cheaper than The States” in conjunction with a plethora of visual images and videos, the group hope to win over the judges and take part in a once in a lifetime experience.