• Thu. May 30th, 2024

The strong independent woman I ultimately design for: Nadia Pinkney on her ECFS collection

ByBryony Smith

Feb 28, 2020

Leading the way for International Women’s Day, Nadia Pinkney’s upcoming collection for the Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show is set to express the liberation, underlying narratives and resplendent glory of all women. Finding roaring success last year, the extensive popularity of the JUNE top providing the motivation to create her very own online shop, Nadia hopes to bring the same fervour on March 14th. Layering various fabrics and textures, playing with the dynamics between the bold and the delicate, concealing and revealing, patterns and the unembellished, Nadia Pinkney charges her designs with a call to convey real life, real people, in all its variety.

Speaking to The Student, Nadia Pinkney discusses how her collection will reflect particular women in her life and their stories as it is exhibited in the National Museum Scotland.

Tickets are just £32, with all profits going towards two incredible charities, Macmillan Cancer Support and It’s Good 2 Give!

Explore the grandeur and magnificence of the 1920s, in a space full of the beautiful and antiquarian, as it is brought to life by a live jazz band, art exhibitions and dancing. Feel the atmosphere and be part of the experience.


What do the twenties resonate with you?

The twenties were a pinnacle time for women. They began to come into their own identities, defied the corset fashion that had been there for years and realised that you didn’t have to live life in the rules that were set by previous generations. They dressed in their own style and had confidence in doing so and those are the type of women in today’s market that I try and appeal to.


What is your design approach?

I am inspired by people and the lives they’ve led. A lot of creatives are inspired by places and concepts however for me, the people I meet are more interesting and influential than locations or objects. This approach can lead my developments and inspirations for garments through some unexpected turns, but it’s a process I enjoy working through. Because my garments are inspired by people, there is an underlying narrative to every piece which means everything is designed for a reason and tells part of a story that is then told fully, when the collection is completed.


You describe your brand as ‘a love of human stories’. How will this be reflected in your upcoming collection?

The collection showing this year is a combination of past, current and new work. The pieces are inspired by three past female members of my family and each women’s personality can be seen through the garments that will grace the catwalk.


What influences your designs in terms of colour, material, pattern, style etc?

The fabrication and colour of each piece is inspired by the person who has influenced the piece or collection. I try to use interesting but commercial fabrics so that the pieces can be worn on and off the catwalk. The collection on show this year features the colour red as this was a favourite colour of the women that inspired the pieces.


What do you hope your collection will convey on the runway?

I hope it conveys the strong independent woman that I ultimately design for. However, fashion is a great platform to create discussion because anyone can relate to it and take away something different from it to how you had initially designed it. I know there are a lot of people that don’t understand the fashion world but at the end of the day, everyone wears clothes. If you can create something that people want to wear, that is shown at an amazing fundraising event and has a meaning behind it then that’s a real achievement.


Having already been a part of the Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show last year, what have you learnt and in what ways has your collection grown since then?

I thoroughly enjoyed being part of ECFS last year, and the best part of the show is that all proceeds go back to the amazing charities chosen by the team which is a heart-warming event to be part of and creates a brilliant atmosphere on the night of the show.

After the Solstice show in March 2019, I received a lot of local support for my designs and in particular received a lot of interest in one of the tops that was showcased at the event. This gave me the confidence to launch a small online shop and since then my business has grown and the JUNE top continues to be a popular style.


When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?

Unlike many of other people in the industry, I haven’t always wanted to be a designer. When I was younger, I wanted to be a primary teacher, as I was and still am very interested in children and their development. However, just before applying to University it dawned on me that if I did a teaching degree I would have spent my full life in a school. I felt I wanted a different challenge and to experience life outside education, so I chose to do a degree in fashion design as I really enjoyed the design aspect of Art classes in school. It was a bit of a leap in a different direction but something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed!


Image credit: Instagram nadiapinkney