Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) has unveiled the striking new tartan that will be used to make the Team Scotland parade uniforms for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The new look has been designed by internationally known textile designer and artist, Jilli Blackwood and the tartan has been produced by House of Edgar at the Isle Mill in Keith, Aberdeenshire.
Blackwood, a native of Glasgow and graduate of Glasgow School of Art, was commissioned by CGS to bring contemporary style and flair to the parade uniforms and ensure that when the eyes of the world are on Scotland for the Games Opening Ceremony next summer, 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 very 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 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.
“Now seeing the tartan on the weaving loom, I am delighted with her interpretation of our original brief. It is fantastic to watch the design for such an iconic symbol of Scotland, designed in Scotland, and produced in Scotland, unfold at the Isle Mill.
“I have no doubt the Team Scotland 2014 tartan will make a huge impression as part of the final parade uniform, when as the host team we are last to enter the stadium at the Opening Ceremony.”
Blackwood’s aim has been to “create a strong and confident look through colour and texture, which is loosely inspired by the Highland landscape” as well as reflecting the “warmth of hospitality and character” of the host nation. She has chosen a vibrant colour palette, bringing together an unusual and bold combination of turquoise, fuchsia, burnt caramel and navy blue to create a tartan she believes best encapsulates the four distinctive seasons of Scotland.
The new tartan is a significant and deliberate contrast with the more traditional CGS corporate tartan. Jilli explains: “I experimented with a range of colours and elements of the existing CGS tartan before producing this. It’s just so different from what has gone before.
“The colours are unique and it is a lovely tartan which radiates warmth. We are a warm nation and I think that is reflected in this.”
Athlete consultation has been involved throughout the uniform design process and among the first athletes to get a glimpse of the tartan was Commonwealth Gold medallist Hannah Miley. Hannah hopes to be in action at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre this summer to defend her title on day one of the Games.
Swathed in the tartan straight from the loom Hannah said: “I really like the look of the tartan, it is bright and colourful and everybody will know when the Team Scotland arrives in the stadium.
“You instantly know who the Scottish team are because the kilt and the tartan are unique to us and we’re very proud of it and it makes you stand tall.
“Jilli has done an amazing job of designing it and I feel very privileged to get a sneak preview. I will be really proud to wear the tartan next summer after I hopefully qualify for the team in April.”
The full parade uniforms which Team Scotland athletes and officials will wear for all formal functions at Glasgow 2014 will be revealed later in the year.