Aberdeen-born Keith put himself through a first degree at Central St Martin’s London to study fashion print, as he could not pursue this at a college in Scotland. While studying at Central St Martin’s he worked on a number of design collections which were subsequently shown in London, Milan and Paris Fashion weeks.
In 2007, his graduate collection of menswear, using all his own prints, was chosen by Central St Martin’s to be shown at the York Hall Press Show. Only a handful of students are fortunate enough to be selected. His tutor says of his final show that it ‘displayed a mature, restrained subtlety and attention to detail that distinguished him from his peers .. and his work reveals a wit and intelligence that never becomes too obvious or overstated.” Keith was awarded a first-class for his practical work.
Keith went on to win a place on the prestigious MA course in Printed Textiles at the Royal College of Art to develop his textile design creativity.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Award contributed towards Keith’s tuition fees and living expenses.
Since the Award
After his first year at RCA, Keith writes, “This year … has been hugely beneficial for me as a designer and as a person. My work, ideas and technical skills have all developed and matured giving me the confidence and a clear vision of what I wish to do in the future as a designer. Without the generous help of the Dewar Arts Award this year would not have been so successful for me..” Keith’s support has been extended for a second and final year.
Keith successfully graduated with MA Textiles from the Royal College of Art. As well as submitting a full and comprehensive portfolio for his textiles examinations, he was invited to show a full collection at the RCA catwalk show, something which is extremely rare. The current economic climate (late 2009) is not a good time to start out in fashion. Keith has started up his own fashion label specialising in mens' shirting whilst also seeking an internship with a major designer.
He writes, "Without [your] belief and financial support ...., I would not have been able to take full advantage of the RCA's teaching and resources and this in turn has given me the freedom to work late at night and during weekends always giving my full attention and commitment to my studies. The enormous commitment from the Dewar award has given me a unique opportunity to create a solid platform for my future."