Established in 2003, Dressed to Kilt has become one of the world’s premier fashion shows and goodwill events. Aptly described as a night of “charity, fashion and fun,” the gathering has generated significant interest since its inception, attracting the attention of many notable celebrities, including Gerard Butler, Andie McDowell, Arun Gandhi, Keifer Sutherland, Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Mike Meyers, and many more. Recently we spoke with Carroll about this year’s event. Recently we spoke with DTK co-founder (along with the late Sir Sean Connery) and organizer Geoffrey Scott Carroll.

I am from Peebles, Scotland in the Borders. Though the United States is now my adopted country, I believe that it is a mistake to forget where you and your family come from. I still have family there, and I go out of my way to maintain contacts back home.

We Scots believe that we are different from others. This is certainly not a criticism of non-Scots, but my dearest and closest friends, even today, are all from Scotland. Many of them have left Scotland and created lives and careers around the globe. But there is always something between us that we share only with each other because of our backgrounds and heritage.

Dressed to Kilt’s mandate hasn’t changed in the last 20+ years: to promote a more contemporary vision of Scotland, to provide real commercial opportunities, to showcase and promote Scottish talent of all ages, to highlight Scottish fashion, textiles and style industries, to raise funds for worthwhile charities on both side of the Atlantic and – perhaps most importantly – to leave the impression that Scotland can be a benchmark for being the very best in the world.

The show has evolved in several significant ways over the years. For example, we no longer promote fancy cocktail dresses or evening gowns. Our focus is now on the fashion of the outdoors, a rapidly and widely growing area everywhere since the pandemic. This means clothing for hiking, hunting, shooting, fishing, camping, climbing, riding, and most outdoor activity in general. Outdoor couture if you will. The second major change would be in the type of models we now invite and promote. The people who support us are very interested in seeing real and very accomplished men and women, both heroes and unsung heroes.

This is the first year that we are holding the event outside of the USA. We have done shows in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and, last year, Washington DC. We chose Toronto for a number of reasons; there is a very strong Scottish Diaspora in Canada – close to 5 million Canadians are of Scottish ancestry I am told. As a major hub, Toronto is easily accessible from anywhere on the globe. Along with Montreal, Toronto is the fashion capital of Canada. And, as DTK continues to expand and evolve, it has become an international fashion event, so Toronto simply made sense. The initial reaction that we have received so far suggests that our thinking was correct. And if all of that was not enough, we are hosting the event on Tartan Day, which was introduced to the world 1986 by a Canadian – Jean Watson of Nova Scotia.

The theme of the Toronto fashion show is “Dress for Adventure – From Caledonia to Canada.” This is a tribute to the fashion of the countryside and the great outdoors and its impact on urban landscapes. This influence of the countryside on city life – tweeds, tailoring, plaid, cashmere, leather and suede – brings a real warmth and softness to the contemporary concrete jungles we inhabit.

The confirmed designers for the 2024 DTK show include Vivienne Westwood, Calzeat, Glenisla Kilts, Andrea Chappell and Acme Atelier Kilts, House of Cheviot, Harris Tweed Hebrides, Holland & Sherry, Lorna Gillies, House of Bruar, Strathmore Woolen Co. Ltd., Totty Rocks, Sara Tiara, Walker Slater, Slanj, Red Label Kilts, Peaky Hat, Prophetik, Rettl 1868 Kilts & Fashion, and fashion students from both George Brown College and Toronto Metropolitan University.

Our celebrity models will include adventurer Kirsty Mack, media mistress Amanda Lyn Mayhew, director/triathlete Lesley Paterson, stuntman Andy Torbet, the current Miss Scotland Chelsie Allison, interior design team Colin & Justin, singer Nati Dreddd, NFL kicker Jamie Gillan, ice skater Shea-Lynn Bourne, soldiers from The Toronto Scottish Regiment, with more to be announced in the coming while.

We are the only Scottish show of our kind in the world, and we promote the talent, the creativity, and the entrepreneurship of the Scots. Scotland is considerably more than whisky and bagpipes that everyone always associates us with. Yes, our show is entertaining, however it also showcases how much talent and energy there is back home. Over the past 20 years we have given an untold number of designers and entertainers a leg up over here in the North American market. As such, the event reminds people that “made in Scotland is a mark of the very best in the world” – both products and people.

Dressed to Kilt
Saturday, April 6, 2024
@dressedtokilt #dressedtokilt2024