• Glasgow Kelvin College students team up with Indian colleagues to host an exciting fashion extravaganza.
  • Paisley Pattern forms the heart of cultural exchange show for Deputy First Minister and VIP Guests in India.

A group of fashion students are heading off to India to stage a spectacular fashion show in the heart of India’s bustling Mumbai.

Students from Glasgow Kelvin College will be meeting up with their counterparts from the Government Polytechnic for Women in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh to reveal their exquisite designs for an invited VIP audience.  

The Show, “Fashioning the Future – Sharing Skills, Culture and Sustainability”, forms a key part of a cultural trip to India and is the climax of a British Council/UKIERI-funded programme where Scottish and Indian students have shared knowledge, skills and experience over the last two years.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, will join guests from key learning and skills organisations throughout India, plus Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid, University of West of Scotland (UWS), Glasgow Caledonian University and the British Council.  Focus will be on the bonds which unite India and Scotland and the uniqueness of that relationship in the development of the iconic Paisley Pattern.

There will be presentations around the exciting UWS ‘Paisley Pearls’ project which reimagines the Paisley pattern, with its origins in the ancient Kashmiri pattern for the digital age and Glasgow Caledonian University’s sustainability initiative.

However, the stars of the show will be the fabulous garments designed and crafted by Glasgow Kelvin College’s HN and degree level Fashion Design & Production with Retail students and the exquisite creations from the ten Guntur students.

Glasgow Kelvin has also developed links with two social inclusion projects in India – the globally recognised Make Love Not Scars project which supports the rehabilitation and employment of survivors of acid attacks and the Project Tres campaign which creates opportunities for women survivors of domestic violence.

Joining the models will be survivors from these organisations who will courageously strut their stuff on the catwalk to showcase the myriad of designs and textiles created by the students.

The event shines a spotlight on the great contribution which colleges and their students can make at an international level, expanding their own skills and cultural experience as well as promoting the role they can play in helping develop the global economy in a sustainable and inclusive way.  

Encapsulating the Scottish Government’s ambitions around internationalisation to encourage global citizenship, this visit is another prime example of the valuable contribution to be made by both colleges and universities working together to deliver a world-class model of collaboration, skills and cultural exchange.  

Alan Sherry, Principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, said;

“The College is privileged to be a key part of this delegation to India.  We are amazed at the creative skills shown by our own talented students and those of our partners at Guntur Polytechnic.  The students should be very proud of what they have achieved and they are excited to be showcasing their work to the Deputy First Minister and important guests – it’s an incredible experience and opportunity for them all.

“We are extremely grateful to the British Council and UKIERI for making the programme possible and are looking forward to meeting with our partners in India and collaborating with our education colleagues to host a hugely successful event.”

Jackie Killeen, the British Council’s Director, Scotland said;

“Bringing international experience to life for young people in Scotland is at the very heart of our work, so we are delighted to have supported the students from Glasgow Kelvin College to take part in the special cross-cultural event in India.  The project is an inspirational example of a mutually beneficial collaboration between learners in both countries and we look forward to seeing and learning more about their outstanding work.”

Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, said;

“We are honoured to be part of the delegation and it’s wonderful that the Paisley Pattern is at the centre of such a worthy project that strengthens the links between students in Scotland and India and the bonds between the two countries themselves.

“The Paisley Pattern has had a huge cultural impact and made the name of the town famous across the globe.  As we await a decision on the UK City of Culture 2021 title, the pattern is as relevant today as ever and is at the heart of plans to transform the town.”

Prof Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland said;

“UWS is delighted to be taking part in this exciting event in Mumbai, in particular collaborating with our partner organisations including Glasgow Kelvin College, Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Government, as part of this visit to enhance the already strong links between Scotland and India. Innovation is key to India’s continued growth and we hope that this visit will enable us to build on our current collaborations and also develop new and positive relationships. UWS’s Paisley Pearls project is a prime example of innovation in digital technologies and we are proud to be part of the Mumbai event and the wider visit to help promote expertise and innovation in Scotland’s education sector.” 

Prof James Miller, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Strategy), Glasgow Caledonian University, said;

“Glasgow Caledonian University’s Fair Fashion Centre, located at our New York college, is proving the business case for sustainability by turning global industry issues into opportunities.

“When considering the impact the fashion supply chain has on other industries – from farming an manufacturing to transportation, real estate and waste management – there are many distinct but entangled elements that must evolve together to create an industry that supports people, planet and profits.

“We’re proud of our mission, as the University for the Common Good, and delighted to be working with Glasgow Kelvin College and the University of the West of Scotland in demonstrating the collaborative approach to higher education, finding real solutions for real world challenges.”