News Release: 30 July 2015
Download .pdf >>
Shetland is once again being represented by Hjaltibonhoga (Shetland Fiddlers) at this year's Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The 2015 Tattoo, at Edinburgh Castle, celebrates the theme of East Meets West featuring participants from the four continents.
Lerwick Town Hall, on Wednesday 29 July, was the venue for the debut of the set the fiddlers will be playing and the reveal of the costumes.
Shetland knitwear design studio Nielanell has won the design commission, for the second year. The bespoke knitwear has been designed and made in the tiny village of Hoswick, where Nielanell and knitwear producer Laurence Odie and his team are based.
Designer Niela Kalra said: “Congratulations to the Fiddlers and the whole support team. Being asked to return is a huge accolade and testament to their talent and hard work. Thanks also to all at Laurence Odie Knitwear for their hard work in completing the order on time.”
The brief - Shetland meets Bollywood - at first seemed impossible. How to combine the strong culture of Shetland knitwear with glitzy, over the top Bollywood? Not only that but the same costumes for the men and women.
Miss Kalra explains, “I have always been interested in designing with a fusion of cultures in mind and Shetland has always had close attachments with other countries. Our culture is steeped in knit, and lace and fair-isle patterns are world-renowned. Music too, has travelled by sea within the Shetland Isles and far beyond.
“I have brought together these themes in the costume design, drawing from my own love of very simple, traditional dress. The sarong, kilt, poncho - and sari - all are used in different cultures - East and West - to cover, clothe and protect the wearer. All are fashioned from a single piece of cloth, likely the most functional and versatile of all items of wear. The colours, chosen to complement the Scottish Pipers’ tartan, and the traditional lace knit pattern remind us of the undulating sea that connects us with the rest of the world.”
The Tattoo, from 7-29 August, is an unrivalled opportunity to showcase the culture, and knitwear, of Shetland. It is a global showcase with groups from over 48 countries performing to an international audience plus an annual television audience of 100 million in more than 40 countries.
Margaret Scollay of the Shetland Fiddlers Tattoo Working Group said: “We are delighted to be returning to the Tattoo, it’s a huge opportunity to introduce Shetland to the world and the atmosphere is incredible. The knitted saris capture the theme so well - the colours and design give uniformity to the group while giving the individual players the freedom to move and drape to suit.”
Shetland Fiddlers: for more information or photography contact Margaret Scollay on 01595 840598.
Nielanell: for more information or photography contact Nielanell on 01950 431413 / 01950 431516 or Fiona Duff on 07917 692870.