Key word references
learning, tools, nostalgia, craft, knowledge, innovation through tradition (end goal), repair, timelessness, education, heirloom, family narrative, community, inquisitiveness, understanding, patience, collaboration, loyalty, identity, vulnerability of raw materials, integrity.
Learning and practice allows ideas to grow and skills to develop. Le Kilt’s beginnings started with the passing on of family traditions and knowledge. The evolution of the brand resembles a family tree, starting off as small roots which grow with each generation. With a nod to nostalgic notions of the past, identity is also celebrated through the establishment of new traditions and techniques. It is through this idea that we consider how each element of our daily uniform can be taken apart and re-appropriated as something new.
Togetherness and the opportunity for collaboration are both central to Le Kilt’s brand values. Working with others to incubate and expand knowledge of traditional craft as well as to encourage conversation and inspire curiosity creates clear lines of progress.
Looking at the qualities of raw materials such as wool - identifying flaws but also celebrating its strength - we consider the unique properties of each component in the construction of our garments. By focusing on the use of tools and workmanship it places emphasis on the individual, therefore demonstrating our loyalty to the craftspeople themselves. In addition, we feel it is important to emphasise how the lengthy production process of wool is often at odds with the lifecycle of the finished garment. Repair increases sustainability; a garment’s imperfections can expose something beautiful, something that can be passed down through generations as a timeless heirloom. By incorporating this into Le Kilt’s brand narrative we hope to increase consumer understanding about the importance of patience and integrity.
Innovation through Tradition
Our approach to heritage is to reference the past, whilst also putting it in the context of modern life. Garments incorporate small details that build on tradition to create something new and innovative. Le Kilt’s Woolmark prize entry will deconstruct elements of our modern uniform to allow the item to take on a completely new identity. These changes are designed to encourage conversation surrounding tradition and the way in which we, as individuals relate to these wardrobe essentials.
Community is intrinsic to our brand values and by championing traditional skills we aim to educate and place a renewed focus on the individuals who are working to safeguard the survival of our shared heritage. We plan to open a small retail space featuring a revolving array of work from textiles and ceramics to vintage magazines and furniture - all made and sourced from the UK (with an emphasis on Scotland). Each item will be selected to perfectly compliment the identity of Le Kilt.
Le Kilt’s studio is situated within a small creative community in Wood Green, North East London. Being a part of the community has also provided an opportunity to offer workshops to educate local young people about manufacturing processes. For example, using the site’s grassy areas to demonstrate the decomposition of wool.