17th February 2019
Aeneas O’Hara (AOH): What made you want to work in fashion?
Lorna Gillies (LG): I was always interested in making my own clothes. Having the freedom of seeing an item of clothing and saying “I can make that for myself, but maybe in a different colour, or quality buttons, etc”. I was never particularly interested in fashion trends, of having a piece of clothing that’s only fashionable for one season seems crazy and wasteful to me. That’s why I’m more interested in slow fashion – making something from quality fabrics that is timeless.
AOH: How did you end up starting your own label?
LG: After studying Theatre Costume at college I worked in offices for a few years. I started doing alterations for colleagues in the office, which then progressed to selling dresses. I then moved to Melbourne, Australia where I worked for a couple of fashion labels. Getting this experience was fantastic, but I knew I wanted to work for myself. So in 2015 I returned back to the Highlands and started my business.
AOH: How would you describe your style?
LG: I use traditional materials to create a dreamy romantic style for women, but with a quirky flair. I am drawn to colours, tartans and history, which influence my work greatly.
AOH: What do you love most about what you do?
LG: I love working directly with the customer. I also offer an off-the-peg collection too, but I adore making something bespoke for the client and seeing them excited in their new garment. When someone is confident in what they wear, their whole posture changes – I love being able to help with that confidence.
AOH: What’s your insider tip for anyone visiting the Highlands?
LG: I’d say go in the autumn/winter time. Even on the worst stormy day, the Highlands looks breath taking….and the roads are a lot more quiet!
To find out more about Lorna and her incredible label, please visit www.lornagillies.com
Photos of models in Glencoe by gavinmacqueen.com and photo of Lorna in her studio by gkbaxter.com