ECA Fashion helped the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh celebrate their 350th anniversary.

Botanical-inspired work by second year Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Fashion students was shown at a special event at the Scottish Parliament in January.  

The event kicked off a year-long celebration of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (RBGE), who are celebrating their 350th anniversary. 

In October 2019, the students were invited to explore the Botanic Gardens as part of an annual second-year project called ‘Architects of the Body’.  

Work by Ella Parr (left) and Emily Martin
Image: Louise King Photography
Work by Ella Parr (left) and Emily Martin

""It was a pleasure to be able to celebrate one of Edinburgh’s most beautiful and iconic locations within our work.""

Cairistiona Fletcher, second year BA (Hons) Fashion

This project challenges students to revisit their existing notions of what a classic white shirt is and to create a sizeless, genderless final garment. This time round, the students’ brief was to design a print inspired by the Botanics’ flora, fauna or buildings and to apply this to their final garment. As well as introducing the concept of print placement, the project is also a technical exercise through which the students are introduced to core skills such as pattern making, sewing seams and constructing collar upstands. 

Student Cairistiona Fletcher said “The collaboration gave us the fantastic opportunity to explore and capture the gardens' spectacular plant life through our print designs; it was a pleasure to be able to celebrate one of Edinburgh’s most beautiful and iconic locations within our work.” 

Student Cosimo Anguilli  said “It was a pleasure working so closely with the Royal Botanic Gardens. They gave us the freedom to express ourselves by creating a textile print inspired by the wonderful treasures found within the gardens. I learned so much from this experience and I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.” 

Student Emily Martin with the model who wore her design
Image: Louise King Photography
Student Emily Martin with the model who wore her design
Student Wen Wen Yang and the model who wore her creation
Image: Louise King Photography
Student Wen Wen Yang and the model who wore her creation

David Vallance, Teaching fellow in Fashion said, “This has been a fantastic opportunity for the students to experience an external collaboration, resulting in a focused show which gives them the opportunity to showcase their work to a wider audience. 

He continued, “It was fantastic to be given the opportunity to show the students’ work at the Scottish Parliament and we’re grateful to RGBE for their generous support.” 

The same group of students are now working on a project that ties in with a major new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, ‘Little Black Dress’. Watch this space! 


Related areas of study


Related people