Team Scotland plan to have a stunning new look, when as the home team they are last to enter the stadium at Celtic Park for the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, a year from now.
Internationally known textile designer and artist, Jilli Blackwood has been commissioned by Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) to bring some contemporary style and flair to the parade uniforms and ensure that when the eyes of the world are on Scotland they live up to expectations.
Explaining how it all began, CGS Chief Executive and Team Scotland Chef de Mission Jon Doig said: “The Scottish team has always made a big impression when it enters the stadium at a Commonwealth Games, mainly wearing the traditional kilt. However for 2014, whilst we want to retain iconic Scottish elements we want to introduce a contemporary twist.
“Over the years we have had special team tartans made and sometimes we have drawn links to the Games host country such as Indian style shirt collars in Delhi 2010, but the look has largely remained consistent and traditional. The women in particular have always felt that the design is vey male oriented and lacks a sense of style and attention to detail.
“So for 2014 we decided to engage a designer to work with us, to ensure that we bring a contemporary look that works for everyone and one that showcases the best of Scotland’s vibrant design industry. We have also involved the athletes in the discussions and decision making and will continue to do so throughout.
“We saw the stunning outfits that Jilli Blackwood designed for the cast involved in the Glasgow section of the Delhi 2010 Closing Ceremony and decided to discuss our ideas with her.
“I am delighted to say that her interpretation of our initial brief was spot on and that she understood what we are trying to achieve from the word go. So we are delighted to have now formally engaged her to work with us on this really exciting project.”
Born in Glasgow and educated at Glasgow School of Art, Jilli Blackwood makes her own fabrics by weaving them on a 24 inch Harris loom. She is renowned for her embroidery techniques and for combining different fabrics such as silk, leather, and linen to create a colourful, sensual, three-dimensional surface. All fabrics are hand dyed in an inspirational process of artistic alchemy.
Jilli is delighted to be working on this commission and whilst not ready to reveal her full design ideas yet, she outlines: “My vision for the project is to create a strong and confident look for the team through colour and texture which is loosely inspired by the Scottish Highland landscape.
“The design is about layering of experiences and it is full of vibrancy and enthusiasm and will make a clear statement of intent for the athletes, as they enter one of the biggest arenas of their sporting careers.”
Whilst still at an early stage in the process, CGS is confident that with Jilli’s help they will achieve the impact they want, when the anticipated more than one billion viewers world-wide tune into the Opening Ceremony on 23d July 2014.
Photo: Ken Mellin