8 March 2007, Edinburgh and New York - Scotland's source of luxury Thistle & Broom today announced its latest collaborative effort with Glasgow couturier Spencer Railton - The Dichotomy Gown.
Noted for his extraordinary wedding and special occasion gowns Glasgwegian Spencer Railton explains his efforts with Thistle & Broom, "Working with Thistle & Broom is a natural extension of my couture work. Whilst Teresa will frame out her basic concept, and chooses the fabrics to be used she gives me creative license to create. I was skeptical at first about her unorthodox use of Scottish wool in gowns but our previous collaboration over The Saltire Gown proved how spot-on her vision is. In two years' since it first appeared on the catwalk the Saltire Gown has come to be called 'the National Dress' - how many fashion designers' get to create a gown that becomes a national icon?"
The Dichotomy Gown was conceived by Thistle & Broom's chief creative officer and managing director Teresa Fritschi in an attempt to frame the totality and high contrasts existing in Scotland which, taken together, make a rich fascinating whole. Dichotomy is from the Greek dichotomia, from dicha 'apart' and tomos 'cutting', … 4 : something with seemingly contradictory qualities. Equal parts of pure Scottish wool and satin lining and lacings for the corset and long mermaid hemmed skirt, the gown offers not only the ability to sit, walk or dance but for a woman to be attired both comfortably and sexily during winter temperatures. But beauty and function aside there is a stronger driving force behind the creation of the gown - showcasing the remarkable fabrics made in Scotland.
"We're so fortunate to work with people like the Mackays (both of Luskentyre Harris Tweed and of Ardalanish Farms) and Harris Tweed Textiles to help people rethink the way they look at fancy dresses," said Fritschi. "Spencer helps to give manifestation to our vision and commitment to protect the cultural identity of Scotland by highlighting the extraordinary textiles made here; he has a real gift for giving personality to each fabric we throw at him." The Dichotomy Gown will make its New York debut as worn by Thistle & Broom spokes model Margaret Kelly during VisitScotland's Scottish Village in two glorious shades of hand woven Tweed. The first is an exclusive shade of bright Thistle Pink from Luskentyre Harris Tweed as developed by Donald John Mackay for Thistle & Broom and the second is the Flame Red from the collection of Harris Tweed Textiles.
Alan Bain president of The American-Scottish FoundationTM and a co-director of Harris Tweed Textiles offered, "Teresa looks at Scotland's assets in a very different way, there is no way you could look at these gowns and say they have anything in common with your grandfathers' sports jacket other than the yarn from which they are made. Every detail is thought out in such a way as to take Scotland's heritage and make it contemporary and relevant; we are obviously thrilled with her considerable efforts."
Donald John Mackay of Luskentyre Harris Tweed is well accustomed to his Tweed being used in innovative ways as Nike, Inc. made use of one of his Harris Tweeds for trainers (sneakers). When Fritschi told him she wanted to make his work 'sexy' he was taken back momentarily and then found voice to express, "I rather like the idea that my Tweed being used to make a woman feel beautiful. But what is sexy? If what's left to the imagination or a hint of what's to come is presented to a man versus something you can see through, then the Dichotomy Gown succeeds brilliantly."About Thistle & Broom, Limited
www.thistleandbroom.com Edinburgh-based Thistle & Broom is a Fair Trade modeled ecommerce initiative with every one of the products offering being sourced exclusively from within Scotland's borders. Eight percent of the related pre-tax profits are donated to carefully selected Scottish not-for-profit organisations which serve to preserve, protect or restore elements of Scotland's heritage. Thistle & Broom was legally incorporated in Scotland in April 2004 and commenced trading in May of 2005.About Harris-Tweed Textiles
http://www.harris-tweed.co.uk is the last mill in the Outer Hebrides to supply Harris Tweed to major garment manufacturers, design houses, tailoring establishment and individual customers while still supporting the needs of independent weavers. Woven into each metre is the interconnectedness of local families and the long tradition of weaving the beautiful Harris Tweeds. Whilst the mill has been trading under the name of Harris Tweed Textiles since 2004, many of the employees have worked in the same building for more than twenty-five years. HTT offices are located in New York City and Carloway, Isle of Lewis.About Spencer Railton
More than twenty years ago Spencer Railton began creating extraordinary one of a kind couture gowns for Scotland's smart set. His knowledge of corsetry and uncanny ability to read a woman make each of his creations a statement of her personality. His initial effort for Thistle & Broom was the highly photographed The Saltire Gown.About Luskentyre Harris Tweed
http://www.luskentyreharristweed.co.uk Sublime colours and exquisite texture define the work of Donald John Mackay - a second generation weaver of authentic Harris Tweed. Luskentyre Harris Tweed regularly receives commission enquiries from the four corners of the globe in part because of the international name recognition which
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