Entertainment

Sustainable dress using materials from King’s garden to go on show

It will be displayed in the Beyond the Little Black Dress exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
It will be displayed in the Beyond the Little Black Dress exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. It will be displayed in the Beyond the Little Black Dress exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

A unique new dress incorporating nettles and horsehair sourced from the private residence of the King will go on display at the National Museum of Scotland next month.

Created by fashion designers VIN + OMI and climate activists, the dress incorporates sustainable materials from Highgrove, Gloucestershire, at the suggestion of Charles himself, and aims to present more sustainable solutions in fashion.

It will be displayed in the Beyond the Little Black Dress exhibition at the museum in Edinburgh, following which it will enter the permanent collection.

Emblazoned with the word “resist”, the streetwear-inspired look defies the expectations of the classic little black dress, its creators say.

Georgina Ripley, principal curator of modern and contemporary design at National Museums Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have commissioned this striking piece for the national collection and we look forward to revealing it to visitors in Beyond the Little Black Dress.

“Fashion is one of the most energy-consuming, polluting and wasteful of modern industries. In response, contemporary designers are seeking more sustainable solutions, like this nature-led approach from VIN + OMI.

“Their ‘LBD’ challenges us to resist the mainstream and place the environment at the forefront of our fashion choices.”

VIN + OMI are award-winning fashion designers and began collaborating with the King in 2019.

VIN + OMI said: “For the last 20 years we have purposely set out to avoid being part of the fashion machine that contributes to the demise of the planet.

“We do not retail our clothing and are much more excited about experimentation, teaching and challenging. Our dress for National Museums Scotland shows what can happen with the waste from UK estates.

Highgrove gardens
Highgrove gardens The materials were picked from the King’s private residence at Highgrove (Jason Ingram/PA)

“These estates produce a large amount of plant and other waste.

“We have collaborated with King Charles for four years and his open-minded, eco approach to running his estates makes a collaboration like this possible.

“National Museums Scotland is the perfect final home for this work – the alternatives to fast fashion must be constantly explored.

“Housing our work here helps future generations learn ways of naturally producing garments that do minimal damage to our planet.”

Beyond The Little Black Dress, which runs from July 1 until October 29, will bring together more than 60 looks from collections and designers around the world.

It opens with a long-sleeved black day dress designed by Gabrielle Coco Chanel in 1926 and looks at fashions through the decades, from early pieces by Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior and Jean Muir to contemporary designers and brands such as Gareth Pugh, Simone Rocha and Off-White.