Friday, January 27, 2012

Treacle supporting Callum John Lowe, Fashion Design Menswear, Northumbria Uni, #3

I've had a trip to bonny Scotland and through the Highlands, filled with tattie scones and Irn Bru - joyful times. Now I'm home don’t worry, the Bovril and ham n pea’s pud stottie’s are back!

Scotland is extremely beautiful, especially the Highlands if you're travelling around the lochs, and is likely to have the most extreme weather you will get in the UK.

After doing a lot of research I thought it be best to plan a trip to Fort William as I have not been for some years and I really needed some outdoor inspiration. So I thought it a good idea to go look at some of the museums and see if I could find out more about functionality of fabrics for extreme cold as the temperature is often -1 Celsius.

My collection's concept is travel/exploration and where best to try it out than at the top of Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the British Isles standing a 1,344 metres above sea level and likely have the most extreme weather in the UK). Of course I need to produce my collection to test it!

One very interesting thing I discovered was that Ben Nevis had an observatory built at the summit that was constantly manned from 1883 to 1904. It was built mainly for meteorological data and high altitude weather. I've seen a few of photos but unfortunately it is but a ruin nowadays.

I visited the West Highland Museum and the Highland Folk Museum, which both helped get a feel for life in ‘back in the day’. I gained a great insight to how handmade tweeds were created on weaving looms. The trip made me think hard about the functionality of my designs - you need warmth, comfort, flexibility and versatility.

I would love to still be up there, you get a real feel for untouched wilderness, so pure and natural but at the same time exposed and realise that the environment can sometimes very hostile.
I plan to go back to visit the Outer Hebrides for Harris Tweed and different wool mills later this month so keep in touch for my next instalment!

Follow me on Twitter @CallumJohnLowe or @treaclewoolshop