Creative director, of Le Kilt, Samantha McCoach is fully aware of the subcultural impact of tartan in fashion, from the head nod to the ‘80s Soho club the name of her brand implies, to the countercultural subtext the fabric has carried since Westwood first used tartan in her proto-punk designs and McQueen let out a rebel yell on Highland Rape. As a designer with kilt-making in her family heritage however, McCoach is uniquely placed to tap into the chic potential of her national dress.
Each season, McCoach tweaks the subtle details of her staple garment, such as buckle fastenings and the choice of tartans available (red Wallace, black and white Mod Scott and bright yellow Mcleod this time around).
For AW15, Le Kilt goes further: an accompanying range of cashmere in tonal colours and typographics featuring the work of emerging sign painter Robert Gibson, like the ‘She Said Boom’ motto (a reference to the post-punk fanzine created by ‘80s band Fifth Column) emblazoned across T-shirts, sweatshirts and, yes, even the kilts.
McCoach’s work draws on the tension between the tradition of the materials and forms she works with, and the punchy impact of the subcultural melee of influences she applies to it, expertly balancing reverence and irreverence.