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Prints charming: How textile designer Hayley Scanlan is changing the face of Scottish style

Forget jute, jam and journalism - there's something else putting Dundee on the map at the moment, and it doesn't start with j.

Making waves in the city's fashion scene is the creative output from Dundee-born printed textile designer Hayley Scanlan, who has experienced a steady ascent to prominence since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in 2009 with a BDes in textile design.

Between juggling looking after her twin boys and her role as an ambassador for the city, Scanlan creates covetable pieces for women focusing on surface design balanced with a clean-cut, wearable silhouette as evidenced in her latest collection Love Me Tender.

She was most recently crowned Young Scottish Designer of the Year at the 2012 Scottish Fashion Awards which took place at the Clyde Auditorium, and can count designer Jeremy Scott among her fans having worked with him for nine months during the formative stages of her career.

We find out what inspires and drives her - as well as her sartorial predictions for the year to come.

What's been a pivotal moment in your career?

Last year was my first year in business and I was extremely lucky to have so many great opportunities. Having my own pop-up boutique at Topshop in Oxford Circus was amazing, as was Debenhams. Winning Young Designer of the year 2012 at the Scottish Fashion Awards really gave me the boost and the confidence I needed to go for it. I am extremely grateful for all of it.

How have advances in digital technology helped your business?

As a printed textile designer, I suppose the advances in using digital printing are something we have the advantage of compared to years ago. Times are constantly changing - you just need to be prepared for it. I still feel I'm learning something new all the time.

What are you doing to make women feel good?

Hopefully I am creating clothes that make women feel good. I only ever create garments that I would want to wear, it's extremely important to know women and to know exactly what they want and how they want to feel. I think starting with myself is a good place, I know everyone has different style but one of the most important things when designing is definitely to make the wearer feel good.

Which women in power do you admire and why?

 I really admire J.K. Rowling, as she's such a gifted woman and her whole story is so inspiring. I see comparisons with myself in terms that she was a single parent and started when she had a small baby with nothing but an idea, drive and ambition. I really admire that as I know myself how difficult it is to do that with my twins. It just proves that the only person responsible for making your dreams come true is yourself; the situation you are in really does not matter.

Who would you like to dress and what would you put them in?

If it's a fictional character I'd love to dress Alabama from one of my favourite films True Romance. She inspired my most recent collection 'Love Me Tender', so I think everything from that collection would be perfect for her. Probably the Colour Block leather biker jacket though, that's my ultimate favourite! 

How did your time in the US influence your output?

I learned so much working with Jeremy Scott. He is such an inspiring, lovely person. It was the first time I'd ever experienced working in the real life fashion industry, I was 23 and he was my favourite fashion designer ever. I was in absolute awe. It really made me aware of how the industry works. It also made me realise what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go with it. A very valuable experience and I also had the best time of my life living there.

Tell us something about yourself we wouldn't know.

I'm the clumsiest person in the world. After winning Scottish Young Designer of the Year 2012 at The Scottish Fashion Awards, I dropped and smashed my award to smithereens on the escalator in John Lewis the very next morning!

What are we going to see trickle down through couture to the high street this year?

In spring/summer, pastels, sheer fabrics, polka dots, and feminine shapes. In autumn/winter, leopard print, oversized bikers, coloured fur and coloured leather

Talk to us about strong women in your life.

My mum has done such a great job of raising five daughters.  My four younger sisters are all so talented and I respect and admire every single one of them for how hard they work and that they're genuinely good, strong people. We are all very close and I feel very blessed to have such a good, loving, supportive family. My gran was also a very strong woman, she doted on my sisters and I and we were exceptionally close. She was my best friend, she taught me to sew when I was a little girl and encouraged me to use my creative brain since as far back as I can remember. She was one of the strongest, most special ladies I've ever known and she continues to inspire me every day.

What's next for Hayley Scanlan?

We are coming to Glasgow for a pop-up shop on Debenhams, Argyle Street, 29th May - 2nd June, working on a new collection and something else very exciting is going on that I am not allowed to talk about yet but all will be revealed shortly!

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