New York’s Carnegie Hall is a long way from the Isles of Harris and Lewis but come March native daughter Alyth McCormack and the hand woven Harris Tweed of Donald John Mackay will be appearing front and centre on the world famous stage. Joining the likes of Chris Capaldi and Darius Danesh, Alyth, as she is generally known, has just become the newest spokesperson for Edinburgh-based sustainable luxury goods purveyor Thistle & Broom. Thistle & Broom will be providing Alyth with her wardrobe for her upcoming concert dates and for touring with the Irish folk group The Chieftains which is how both the Tweed and the Gaelic chanteuse and actress will be found at Carnegie Hall.
For obvious reasons Alyth is a little partial to the thistle pink Dichotomy Gown she first wore at the American Scottish-Foundation’s Burns Night Supper held at a private club in New York City and at Celtic Connections in Glasgow.
“The gown is a dramatic departure from the common perception of Harris Tweed. People are astonished when you tell them what the gown is made of. Understandably ‘sexy’ is not a word generally associated with Harris Tweed but this may be what is required to save this precious cultural icon and the livelihood of my neighbours”, said Alyth from Dublin as she readied for her tour with The Chieftains. “To be able to explain that I am actually wearing the fabric tied to the waulking song I am about to sing, to have the magic of the Hebrides come together so completely for an audience is an extraordinary gift.”
“Our island culture is intimately bound to every metre of Harris Tweed, and as everyone knows there’s been a lot of uncertainty around its continuation of late. Alyth and Thistle & Broom have, in their own unique ways, been driven in preserving our heritage and I think they make a dynamic team which will certainly heighten awareness and appreciation,” said Donald John Mackay who developed the stunning thistle pink Tweed used for the Dichotomy Gown Alyth will be wearing. “I can’t help but see a bit of irony in this debut. In the concert hall named for the son of a Scottish weaver who became the driving force for philanthropy related to education and culture will come a rethinking of, and hopefully increased demand for our Scottish icon – genuine hand woven Harris Tweed.”
Alyth’s wardrobe spans Scotland geographically with bespoke fashions made of Scottish textiles made in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Isle of Mull, Whalsay in the Shetland Islands and the Isle of Skye. Alyth summed it up by saying, “I am so fortunate to be able to wear Scotland on my sleeve. Thistle & Broom is doing something truly remarkable in creating a luxury brand that is focused upon sustainability and Fair Trade and doing so exclusively from within Scotland’s borders.”
www.alyth.net Born on the Isle of Lewis off Scotland’s Northwest coast, Alyth was given ample opportunity to sing from an early age. Her love of performing and a desire to expand upon her traditional Gaelic roots led her to study at the RSAMD in Glasgow. An accomplished actress as well as vocalist she has appeared in a variety of productions including ‘Festival’ by Annie Griffin, winner of the British Comedy Award for Best comedy Film 2005 and is also a founder member of the Scottish Theatre Group ‘Dogstar’ having taken leading roles in their award winning productions. Alyth has toured extensively across Europe and North and South America and has recorded with various artists appearing on 16 albums to date. Her first solo effort, An Iomall (The Edge), was released to critical acclaim in 2000 CD on Vertical Records, The Island Tapes DVD/CD premiered during Celtic Connections 2008 with a new CD entitled People Like Me following at the end of January 2008.
For more information about Alyth McCormack please contact:
phone +44(0)777 1787 377
About Thistle & Broom, Limited
www.thistleandbroom.com Edinburgh-based, Companies House registered (SC262097), Thistle & Broom is the world’s first geopolitically specific and Fair Trade modeled luxury goods purveyor. Established in 2004, the online retailer offers an extraordinary collection of bespoke clothing, Edinburgh hallmarked precious jewellery and home furnishings sourced exclusively from within Scotland’s borders.
For more information about Thistle & Broom please contact:
phone +44 (0) 131 2080 923