Fashion designer’s Milan warm-up show in Capital

Fashion designer Judy R Clark. Picture:  Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Scottish Government

Fashion designer Judy R Clark. Picture: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Scottish Government

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A DESIGNER who was mentored by Alexander McQueen and is soon to feature in Italian Vogue is gearing up for her first Milan Fashion Week with a preview show in the Capital.

Judy R Clark, 29, who lives in Craiglockhart and was named Scottish Womenswear Designer of The Year 2013 at The Scottish Style Awards, only discovered her passion for fashion at the age of 16, when a high school catwalk show revealed her flair for design.

She said: “Before that I’d been a very keen painter and illustrator, and seeing something that I had drawn come off the page and into real life was such an amazing feeling.

“My contribution was a big skirt made out of wire – I’m pretty sure I’ve still got it somewhere!”

After gaining a first class honours degree in fashion design for industry from Heriot Watt University’s campus in the Scottish Borders, Miss Clark found herself living every young designers dream when she was accepted to intern under late fashion legend McQueen.

“I had just made my first Harris Tweed jacket and when I showed it to them I was hired on the spot, and moved to London for six months. It was a great experience. I’ve got very fond memories of the time, and of Alexander McQueen.”

On her return to Scotland in 2008, Miss Clark, who is originally from Fort William, decided to move to the Capital to begin work on her first collection and was soon dressing some of Scotland’s best known people, including Emile Sande, Judy Murray and Fiona Hyslop MSP.

But her career is just about to reach the next level, by presenting her first ready-to-wear collection at Milan Fashion Week next month.

“I travelled over there at the end of last year with Visit Scotland to do a presentation on Scottish textiles and I was asked if I wanted to take part.

“Obviously I jumped at the chance.

“Showcasing the new line in Milan, the city that many consider to be the fashion capital of the world, is a great way to start the year.”

And as if being poised to take Milan by storm was not enough, one of her tartan and lace coats will also be featured in next month’s edition of Italian Vogue.

“I’m absolutely thrilled, I really can’t wait to see the magazine when it comes out.

“Vogue is an amazing title overall, but Italian Vogue is especially well-respected.”

But Edinburgh residents will be first in line for a sneak peek of the next big thing in Scottish style, with a preview show of Miss Clark’s work being held at Tigerlilly on George Street next Thursday.

“Tickets are on sale to the public, and as well as the ready-to-wear collection, I’ll also be showing some of my new bespoke pieces for the very first time,” said Miss Clark.