INNERLEITHEN textile mill Caerlee was showcasing to the world at last week’s London Fashion Show.
For Scotland’s oldest continually operating textile mill launched a knitwear and hand intarsia (a knitting technique creating patterns with lots of colours) collaboration with the award-winning designer Holly Fulton at the Scottish designer’s spring 2012 catwalk show last Sunday.
Caerlee managing director Tom Harkness said: “As the UK’s only full-time employer of hand intarsia artisans, we can make a knit look like printed silk. We were looking for a designer who could work well with our team, and whose designs would make a perfect showcase for our skills and experience. It’s great working with Holly.”
The company is known for its own label, but also for its hand-crafted cashmere products for international brands such as Chanel and Ballantyne and regular appearances in the likes of Harpers and Vogue magazines.
Caerlee met Holly Fulton at the London showrooms in Paris in March after visiting London Fashion Week in February and seeing Fulton’s autumn 2011 ‘Kiss me Quick, Squeeze me Slow’ collection.
Fulton said: “It is a wonderful experience working with Caerlee. As a new designer it is not often you get access to a manufacturer with such an incredible history and commitment to quality that is willing to vest interest in a growing brand such as my own.
“The breadth and range of specialist skills they have is akin to my own ethos of reinterpreting couture techniques within contemporary ready-to-wear, and I feel this has formed the basis of what has proved to be an extremely fruitful relationship.
“It’s always exciting to work within a new field and the dedication and enthusiasm of Tom and his team at Caerlee has made the experience a pleasure.”
The Edinburgh College of Art graduate is a previous winner of the Young Designer of the Year Award at the Scottish Fashion Awards, a British Fashion Award and last year she won the Elle Style Award for New Designer.
The collaboration is supported by Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International.