RGU International fashion student inspired by Scottish nature

An aspiring Dutch designer studying at RGU's Gray’s School of Art is using the natural beauty of Scotland to inspire her sustainable fashion range.

Lisa van NulandLisa van Nuland (28) from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, moved to Aberdeen in 2012 to begin a course in Fashion and Textiles, hoping to combine her love of the outdoors with her flair for craft and design.

She immediately fell in love with the scenic and emotive Scottish landscape and began using it as a source of inspiration in her university work.

“When I was researching art schools in Scotland, Gray’s just stood out to me,” Lisa said.

“I had always liked making stuff but I wasn’t quite sure, specifically, what type of stuff I would like to focus my efforts on.

“The things I was making were always quite conceptual. I’ve always been into 3D design – not necessary in a functional way. I didn’t want the things I made to end up in a museum, I wanted them to be everyday creations which people would interact with and that’s how I got to fashion design.”

Lisa has spent a lot of time travelling, most recently touring some of the most picturesque locations in Scotland such as Skye’s Cuillin Mountains, the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond.

“I have always been a very outdoor kind of person and over the summer I worked in various locations throughout Scotland, photographing and really trying to capture the essence of these places.

“What I am working on just now is inspired by the woods around Loch Lomond, the rugged, jagged mountains in Skye and geometric patterns within the Cairngorm national park.

Lisa's designs“When I get out into nature, it is very emotive and for me, personally, I find that when I’m out in nature there is a sense of being able to let go and what I am trying to do with this collection is elicit the same emotional response through textures in the fabric.”

Lisa has just finished exhibiting her work at the Gray’s Interim Show and is now working towards the Degree Show in June, where she will display three outfits.

“I am working with textile manipulation, and how I can use these textiles to create a texture and colours to mirror an emotion which comes along with the geometries of nature.

“I am really into the sustainability of the work I am involved in and I feel that nature has instilled this in me. I feel we just have to respect for the world around us.

“All the fabrics I am using are sustainable, no man-made materials, and they are all sourced from companies I have researched. Sustainability is something to me that just has to happen, it’s a given.”

Lisa is now working on her dissertation which will look at the influence the clothes we wear can have on our happiness and wellbeing. 

“The things we wear, we do so for most hours of the day and currently we just consider the comfort factor, and how it might represent their personality.

“However, I believe there is a much wider scope which hasn’t been looked at and this is something I would really like to concentrate my research on – to see how we can get emotive responses out of the things we wear and how this can help people.

“If you could make clothing which works to make you feel better then I think this is definitely worth exploring.”

Lisa’s work will be on display at the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show in Aberdeen and the New Designers Exhibition in London in June.


Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries