Team Scotland is set to step out in style at the Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next April, with its new parade uniform created in collaboration with bespoke tartan manufacturers House of Edgar and multi-award winning Scottish fashion designer Siobhan Mackenzie.
With Christmas Day set to mark 100 days until the start of the Games, the exciting new look was unveiled at The Gleneagles Hotel, where the ‘glorious playground’ provided the perfect backdrop for the festive occasion, with track and field stars Lynsey Sharp and Andrew Butchart taking centre stage.
Following the tradition of creating a distinctive new tartan for each Games, the 2018 tartan was designed by Team Scotland in collaboration with House of Edgar of Perth and woven at their Isle Mill in Keith, Moray. It reflects Team Scotland’s brand colours (blue, purple, magenta and green) with the use of green also an acknowledgement of Australia’s traditional sportswear colour.
The men’s kilts have also been manufactured by House of Edgar, who previously made the 2014 Team Scotland and Glasgow 2014 official tartans. However to ensure that the women’s outfit showcases a mix of tradition but with a modern twist, Team Scotland commissioned 24 year old Siobhan Mackenzie – named ’Best New Scottish Designer 2016’ to create a stunning new look.
Siobhan trained in kilt-making with master kiltmaker John Culbert at Glenisla and after finishing her degree she worked as an alteration technician for the technical officials at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which sparked her interest to become involved further with Team Scotland. Now well established on the international fashion scene, her brand’s womenswear and menswear is stocked in the elite luxury store Bergdorf Goodman in New York. She has also collaborated with a host of celebrities, including ‘2017 Team Scot of the Year’ Judy Murray OBE.
Siobhan has been particularly keen to demonstrate how the contemporary kilt she has designed, with the tartan cut on the bias on the front and vibrant purple pleats on the back, not only creates a fabulous parade uniform for Team Scotland’s women, but will work well afterwards as a beautiful evening outfit and for on-trend casual wear.
Siobhan Mackenzie said: “I’m truly honoured as a young female entrepreneur to have had the opportunity to design for the women of Team Scotland. I have injected my innovative design style into the womenswear look with the end goal in mind being not only that I want to represent a modern day Scotland but also that I want the female athletes to walk out into the Opening Ceremony feeling great in their outfit!
“Watching Team Scotland walk into the stadium will certainly be a very proud moment in my career.”
James Dracup, Managing Director of House of Edgar added: “House of Edgar is delighted to partner Team Scotland in producing a wonderful new tartan for Scotland’s team at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast 2018.
“The cloth has been woven at our factory in Keith in the Scottish Highlands and all men’s kilts hand made at our factory in Paisley. We are proud that the Scottish team will be wearing an authentic Scottish tartan, produced in Scottish factories and very excited that our fabric is to be shown in both a traditional and through the collaboration with Siobhan, a more contemporary format at the Opening Ceremony. We wish Team Scotland every success at the Games.”
In tune with the relaxed Gold Coast style and to suit the likely warm weather conditions, the kilts will be worn with a bespoke matching polo shirt.
As the last Commonwealth Games hosts, Scotland will be the first team to walk out into the Opening Ceremony at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast on 4 April 2018.
Lynsey Sharp, who memorably battled back from illness to win silver in the 800m at Glasgow 2014 was thrilled to model the new women’s kilt and said: “It’s absolutely beautiful and I think it’s definitely something I will wear again. I love Siobhan’s designs so I was really excited to hear she was designing the women’s outfit for Team Scotland.
“The parade uniform is always a huge talking point, everyone is going to be excited to see it and try it on, and I am sure they’re going to be really proud of it. The parade wear brings everyone together and makes you feel like one team and it will be fantastic to see everyone wearing it together at the Games.”
26 year old Andy Butchart from Dunblane, who will make his Team Scotland debut in Gold Coast and started his career as a personal trainer at the Gleneagles Hotel’s leisure club said: “The tartan looks so, so good, the colours have come out really well. You can definitely see it’s Team Scotland and having the green line there to represent going to Australia is a really nice touch that makes it special for these Games.
“It’s going to be a really proud moment to march out first into the Opening Ceremony next April and I’m sure the rest of the team will agree with me on that.”
Team Scotland Deputy Chef de Mission Elinor Middlemiss, who project manages the team kit added: “After months of planning it is really exciting to see the parade uniform come to fruition and we are delighted with the new look created by our partners at House of Edgar and Siobhan Mackenzie.
“It is always important to make sure the female team members don’t feel like an afterthought when it comes to the parade uniform, so it has been brilliant to work with such an exciting young designer like Siobhan and see her bring such a contemporary twist to their kilts and I am sure they are going to love it.
“A big thank you also to the Gleneagles Hotel for providing us with such an iconic backdrop for our reveal photography. As hosts of the Ryder Cup in 2014, the new European Championships golf event in 2018 and the Solheim Cup in 2019, we share a passion for world class sporting events. Both organisations are underpinned by a strong Scottish heritage, coupled with the drive to stay at the cutting-edge, this was a perfect fit for us.”
The photographs of the parade uniform were taken by Glasgow photographer Alistair Devine, highly acclaimed for his Team Scotland hero images, shot for the team’s Go Scotland! campaign leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.