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Eilish Macintosh's knotted creations

PVC party dresses and Araki-esque bondage inspired pieces from Scottish newcomer

Taken from the June Issue of Dazed & Confused:

Eilish Macintosh uses rope as an instrument of power that binds and frames its wearer. It was an integral part of the 24-year-old Scottish designer’s final designs at Central Saint Martins, when she surprised the audience at this year’s MA show with two fully realised collections.  

The first was crafted from cloned black toiles, sharply shouldered and sheathed, over which knotted ropes formed geometric shapes and subtly drew the jersey to the skin. “It was about holding the body with the ropes,” Macintosh explains. “The pieces fit on people of different sizes because the rope finds your waist and hips and pulls in. Rope has a lot of give even though the look is of restriction and control.” This tension surged through the entire process, from inspiration – kinbaku (Japanese rope-tying) and the photography of Nobuyoshi Araki – to the skin-flashing holes in her final designs. 

Her second collection took a sharply different approach. “I had always wanted to combine patent leather with rope,” she says, “to use the combination as a way of actually constructing garments.” Cue a PVC party dress reminiscent of luxe baseball gloves that took shape as pleated and laced vinyl and patent leather separates. The rope is the common thread of the collections, a practical and aesthetic focal point.

Macintosh, who has interned at John Galliano, Diane von Fürstenberg and Peter Jensen, saw her latest work recognised when she walked away with this year’s L’Oréal Professional Creative Award (presented to her by Christopher Kane).

Photography by Jan Lehner

Styling Gary Armstrong
Hair Kota Suizu using Bumble and Bumble
Make-up Nami Yoshida at The Book Agency using Bobbi Brown
Model Karen Wilms at Next
Photographic assistant David English
Hair assistant Chloe Mzimba
Make-up assistant Maa-Tokyo
Special thanks to Big Sky Studios and Big Sky Lighting