Fasanta festival shows it’s right on trend
DUNOLLIE’S fourth annual Fasanta textile festival and fashion show adorned Oban with trendy tweed and castle chic, and a new Firth of Lorn scarf.
The Fasanta festival, named after the Gaelic for ‘fashionable’, explores and celebrates Scotland’s textile heritage, and was inspired by Dunollie House’s incredible collection of 200 costumes and textiles dating back four centuries, unearthed in 2011. The three-day festival, running from Friday to Sunday, October 21-23, featured stalls, workshops, presentations and catwalk in Oban’s Corran Halls, and guided tours of Dunollie’s historic costumes.
Talk subjects included embroidered bed hangings by the National Museum’s textiles curator Naomi Tarrant, designing the new Cowal Tweed, and a ‘pechakuca’ (‘chit-chat’ in Japanese) by Ardalanish Weaving Mill. Workshops taught hand weaving, Dorset button making, and Catherine Gillies’s ‘wild chemistry lesson’ used natural dyes such as lungwort, madder and bramble. A Scottish sewing bee upcycled old tweed clothes from charity shops and modelled them on the catwalk.
At another workshop entitled Sharing Yarns: Jacobean Embroidery, Dorie Wilkie, lead stitcher of the Prestonpans Tapestry and Great Tapestry of Scotland, showed how to use her patch kits based of the rare 17th-century bed-hanging discovered in Dunollie’s attic.
Dunollie also organised a primary school project where 100 pupils designed a character who might live in Dunollie Castle, such as jesters, knights and cooks. The three winning drawings, by Lucas McLeod, Edie Elliott and Emma Woodcock, were made into outfits and modelled at Saturday’s Fasanta fashion show.
Both of catwalk’s themes this year, trendy in tweed and castle chic, championed upcycled costumes. The Oban Scottish Women’s Institute won the castle chic category for their dresses fashioned from ties, scarves and crisp packets, while Barcaldine Textiles and Tea picked up both the trendy in tweed and audience choice. Esther Williams from the Scottish sewing bee won the judge’s choice, for modelling her man’s jacket recycled into a skirt and cropped jacket.
The fashion show also displayed the first weave of the brand new Lorn Tweed. Dunollie held an open design competition in 2015 to develop a textile inspired by the Brooch of Lorn. The winning design by local artist Jennifer Shaw has now inspired a scarf, made by Oban weaver Marilyn Drummond, which will be known as the Firth of Lorn scarf and woven by the Dunollie Weavers’ Group. The pattern will then be developed into a Firth of Lorn tweed, ready for the catwalk in 2017. All ticket proceeds from this year’s fashion show were donated to the North Argyll Young Carers’ Centre.
Dress designs by Oban’s Scottish Women’s Institute won the castle chic award, worn by, left to right, Jacqueline Cullen and Claire Smalley.
Left to right: Lucas McLeod of Connel’s Achaleven Primary School’s design was worn by Liam Byers of Rockfield Primary School; Dunollie’s community engagement officer Melanie Davies made two of the costumes and presented the prizes; Edie Elliott of Rockfield, wearing her own design ‘the gardener’s daughter’; Lochnell Primary School pupil Emma Woodcock’s maid costume was worn by Jessica Main of Rockfield.
15_T44_ Fasanta_ 011_ Firth of Lorn Tweed
15_T44_ Fasanta_ 05_ A Scottish Sewing Bee Left to right: Esther Williams, Audrey Walton and Sue Baker.
15_T44_ Fasanta_ 04_embroidery workshop