Gaelic arts agency Pròiseact Nan Ealan has won two Scottish Events Of The Year Awards at a glittering awards ceremony in Edinburgh.
PNE were presented with The Best Small Event Of The Year Award for their highly successful series of community fashion shows, Na Mo Chuid Aodaich (In My Own Clothes), held in Lewis last year. Later in the same evening they were also presented with The Chairman’s Award as the personal choice of the Chairman of the Judges across all the various categories of event.
The Na Mo Chuid Aodaich project was designed and led by PNE and delivered in partnership with five island communities and Crossroads Care. This fresh and original form of event involved each community hosting their own fashion shows using vintage clothing from local attics, closets and bottom drawers. The call for contributions unearthed a wealth of wedding dresses and high fashion gems from high church hats, uniforms and Victorian underwear to ballgowns, 1960’s Mary Quant outfits and elegant contemporary designs. Dresses were modelled by the young women of the community who also provided backstage hairdressing, make-up and catering for the events. The stories behind the items were collated for voiceover during the catwalk presentation and for many this was a surprising new insight into the past lives of older neighbours and family members.
The events captured the imagination of the community and attracted large audiences and participants of all ages. Each of the island venues was full to capacity with over 1700 attending the five shows and over 300 enthusiastic volunteers aged from 8 to 80 giving freely of their time and energy to create these hugely enjoyable events. They also raised a staggering £12,000 for Crossroads Lewis.
PNE Director, Malcolm Maclean said: “This prestigious award is a well-earned tribute to the project leaders, Marisa Macdonald and Norma Macsween, and the hundreds of volunteers whose vintage clothes, hard work and good humour made each of these events such a great success. It was the community representatives who went up to collect the award and we were all busy celebrating with the Hebridean Celtic Festival when The Chairman’s Award was announced. The second award took us completely by surprise and rounded off a great night for the Hebrides.”
The awards are a welcome boost to the new Na Mo Chuid Aodaich projects that PNE is currently developing with Gaelic communities in Glasgow and the Isle of Skye. Over the coming months both areas will develop their own region-specific take on the format and the fashion shows will be further enriched with dramatisations of the stories behind the outfits.