The sporran legion took over a leading fashion shop in London.
Monty Lewis, the son of V V Rouleaux founder Annabel Lewis, has launched a 17-piece collection of the world’s finest sporrans.
Having been inspired since he was a child by the textures and colours in his mother’s haberdashery shop, including embroidered pieces and tassels, as well as ancient family heirlooms admired at Highland balls, the young designer has revived the traditional art of horsehair and goatshair sporrans.
28-year-old Monty trained in product and furniture design, and worked in high-end interior design, before deciding to start his own company with a passion for unique and bespoke products that stretch beyond the conventional.
Monty told Scottish Field: ‘Inspired by family heirlooms, I’ve created 20 contemporary sporrans, they are made as exquisitely as the beautiful collectors items that originally caught my imagination. But they are truly unique each one having a story behind it and a twist to them. They are all handmade here, and I specialise in making the cantles myself.
‘My mother is the owner of V V Rouleaux the ribbons and trimmings shop in London, we held the launch there as that is undoubtably where my creativity was born. My mother is also an expert on passementerie, thats the beautiful handmade tassels, so between us we were able to find the artisans to create the tassels. V V Rouleaux also the place to go for tartan ribbon.
‘We displayed the collection throughout the day on Burns Night, and from 6 onwards we got stuck into the whisky, ending with some Scottish reeling on the street. Remarkably we book the piper the Thursday before Burns Night, what a stroke of luck!
‘We even had people turn up who followed the sound of the pipes down backstreets, a great launch. I’m very much looking forward the Edinburgh one.’
Monty recreated sporran masterpieces that combine tradition with a contemporary edge. A vintage waistcoat from renowned ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev’s collection, which Annabel owns, inspired one of the sporrans’ cantles. The hand-crafted metal cantles incorporate exquisite materials including ox horn and shell.
Another nod to his inspiration is the handmade horse hair and traditional military tassels, and grosgrain ribbon belts from V V Rouleaux.
Having travelled around Scotland trying to find someone to make the horsehair and leather pouch to no avail, Monty eventually had to teach a leather worker how to make them like the heirlooms he so admired. The culmination of these disciplines is an item which is more of a piece of art than a piece of clothing.
Monty added: ‘It was such a pleasure to have all the sporrans on show at once. It was the first time Marylebone Lane has had a “Flash Mob” of Scottish dancing and the thundering drones of Highland Pipes, which certainly drew some attention!’
Visit montylewis.uk for more details.