Arch & Sea Photographic Fabric Design by Jade Starmore
Glamourie Styling

The styling for Glamourie was a daunting task. It had to be in keeping with Alice’s intricate and magical knitted garments, so there was a lot of pressure to create and source pieces that would perfectly set off both the costumes and designs. For two of the costumes I was able to turn to other designers – the Eagle mask was made by the very talented Pete Williamson, who creates original moulded leather designs that are very out of this world. The flamboyant Lapwing costume skirt was made by Rachael Forbes of the Imaginarium Apparel, and is embroidered and pleated and shaped to perfectly match the dramatic, embellished jacket. The tufted turquoise skirt with the Mara Raven cardigan was made by Steph Davidson, and those colours work perfectly with both design and the stunning beach it was photographed on. The Otter costume plus-twos and the trousers with the Storm Petrel Raven Poncho were bought from a favourite tweed shop.

The Eagle costume by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Lapwing costume by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Raven cardigan hand knitwear design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Eagle hand kniting design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie

I made all the styling to fit with the mood of each garment. For example, for the Eagle costume I made a long pleated skirt in a butter-soft fine pig suede. The inner pleats are in a rich gold, and I shaped the hem to follow the natural ragged edges of the suede hide. This was done to match the wild Eagle silhouette, which would not have suited a neat straight hemline. For the Eagle design I made a suede dress with the same pleated panels and natural edges as the skirt, but with a contrast colour in a softer and more subtle honey brown.

The Cailleach has a wool dress, shaped from the shoulders and neckline with a huge volume of fabric and a train all in a rich purple, which sets off the delicate shape and bright colours in the costume jacket.

The Caileach costume by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Mountain Hare costume by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie

Some of the Glamourie pieces needed fabric specially designed for them. While the Mountain Hare design worked perfectly with a pair of jodhpurs that called to mind the shape of the creature’s hind legs, the costume required an element of camouflage to work with both the embroidery colours and the landscape itself. I used photographs of lichens (taken at the top of the Ben where we shot the design and garment) to print a large scale fabric panel on very fine lightweight wool/linen mix from which I then made a heavily gathered skirt. When working with large-scale textile print fabrics, it is important that each section works with the final pattern. Instead of printing a single length of fabric, you must set your final digital design in sections, with each section intended for each specific garment piece. The printing process made the fabric shrink by roughly 10%, so when I placed the panels I had to be ultra-aware of this shrinkage.

The Mountain Hare skirt had to have volume that echoed the animal, in the same way as the design jodhpurs did. I therefore designed a bustle skirt. There is no padding involved: instead the skirt is made in very gathered panels. The front and back are in two separate pieces, and then a shorter curved bustle is set over the skirt back. The waistband is also instrumental in the shape of the garment. The front waistband is wide and curves down low toward the front, keeping the volume of the skirt in check. At the back, the waistband curves upwards sharply, so that the fabric pushes outward over the natural curve of the body without any need for padding. The skirt is then hitched at the side seams giving a flowing shape and adding further body to the hips. The fabric itself takes on the pink and brown hues of the hilltop lichens, and allows the Mountain Hare to blend with her stone surroundings.

The Mountain Hare costume by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
Lichen photographic print fabric design by Jade Starmore
Lichen photographic print fabric design by Jade Starmore

The White Raven is a mystical character who is essentially an embodiment of story and imagination. Her dress is a simple shape that allows the curves and feathers of the knitted garment to hold centre stage. However, the printed fabric is more complex. The fabric backdrop is a seascape of the very beach on which she is photographed, and a skyscape taken from the bottom of our croft where a family of Ravens make their nest. This is meant to represent the shoreline that our Ravens are so deeply rooted in. The stone arches which curve out of the clouds across the bottom of the skirt are a nod to the Raven’s wild, imaginative tales. A further element of connection with our Raven family is the old clay pipe that you can barely see in her hand. Alice found this at the foot of our croft – a relic from past times.

Arch & Sea Photographic Fabric Design by Jade Starmore
Arch & Sea Photographic Fabric Design by Jade Starmore
The Raven cardigan hand knitwear design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Cathedral Doors Are Always Open photographic print fabric design by Jade Starmore

The Otter is a creature that yearns for complete freedom, even at the cost of the lives of others. The end of the Otter story sees her forever bound to the river, and no longer able to make magical doorways across the moorland. So the Otter skirt is very high and tightly shaped about the waist in constrictive fashion, unlike the low and comfortable plus-twos of the costume. The skirt’s fabric background is printed from a photograph of the closed doors of a 15th century Scottish church – a nod to the restraints often placed on women by both society and community in the past. The deep pleat in the centre of the skirt is bordered by the iron handles of the church door. But there is also some light. Across the door appear faint high-arching windows with glimpses of birds flying freely behind.

The Cathedral Doors Are Always Open photographic print fabric design by Jade Starmore
The Otter hand knitwear design by Jade Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Otter hand knitwear design by Jade Starmore from the book Glamourie
Rockpool photographic print fabric design by Jade Starmore
The Sea Anemone hand knitwear design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie

The Sea Anemone is anchored to the stone of her cove. In the design she is hiding her true nature, but elements of her costume peek through. The design has exactly the same texture, shaping and embroidery as the costume, but the shift in colour from red to brown gives a more subtle appearance. The surfles at her cuffs and neck give a hint of the long costume skirt. The fabric for the design skirt also hints at the Sea Anemone’s true nature. The main body of the fabric is printed from photographs that Alice took of rock pools, and around the hem sit eight red Sea Anemones as a warning to the unwary.

Rockpool photographic print fabric design by Jade Starmore
Reed on Water photographic print fabric design by Jade Starmore
The Damsel Fly hand knitwear design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie

The Damselfly design, as modelled here by Sophie, needed a skirt that evoked summer. A photograph of Hebridean pondweed, rippling in the flow of a moorland burn, was repeated in the fabric print to give these fresh stripes. Sophie’s skirt echoes the tail of her Damselfly costume, with long ties that flow in the breeze. This fabric was also used in a different skirt style to accompany the Classic Otter design as worn here by Beth – a more mellow and mossy take on the restless moorland creature.

The Damsel Fly hand knitwear design by Alice Starmore from the book Glamourie
The Otter hand knitwear design by Jade Starmore from the book Glamourie