The legacy and life of north-east fashion legend Bill Gibb will be celebrated in an online event this month.
His creations have been worn by stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Bianca Jagger.
It will feature a unique recorded conversation between Mr Gibb’s sisters Patsy Davidson, Janey Arnott and Marlyn Hope, who will be discussing their favourite memories of him.
In addition, experts in the field will also give talks about his life and how much he has inspired them.
They include Christine Rew, art gallery and museums manager who has curated several contemporary craft, jewellery and fashion exhibitions at Aberdeen Art Gallery including Bill Gibb in 1990 and Bill Gibb – the Golden Boy of British Fashion in 2003, the year that would have marked the designer’s 60th birthday.
The Bill Gibb Line exhibition was the latest one, which was presented in the gallery in 2019/20 by writer and performer Shane Strachan.
This online event was due to take place during this exhibition but was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
Bill Gibb is a popular figure at the gallery, which holds an unparalleled archive of drawings, patterns and garments.
Mr Gibb was talent-spotted while he was a pupil at Fraserburgh Academy and went on to study at St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art.
He was encouraged by his art teacher Bob Duthie, and fellow alumni of the art college include Ozzie Clark and Zandra Rhodes.
In this symposium, his sisters reflect on how they would send him care packages of butteries and oatmeal, to help him manage his homesickness for the colours and textures of the north-east.
Patsy Davidson said: “If you went out for a walk with Billy at Fraserburgh beach he’d see the colours and the patterns, we never noticed the things that Billy did.
“His designs were innovative and refreshingly different, with an exquisite attention to detail, which stunned the fashion world.
“Billy was always a romantic – every woman who ever worn a Bill Gibb outfit would feel a million bucks.”
Mr Gibb would use his sisters as models for his early designs, draping them in bedspreads and curtains to achieve his signature flowing, feminine look.
During the event, the sisters will share their memories of having bespoke wedding gowns created for them by him.
A farm boy turned designer, Gibb, was crowned Designer of the Year by Vogue in 1970 but died in 1988 aged 44, of cancer.
Celebrating the life of Bill Gibb
Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman, hailed the event as a chance to share the “incredible legacy” of Mr Gibb around the world.
She said: “Whilst it was disappointing that the symposium had to be cancelled last year, in many ways we should celebrate the fact that, now that it’s taking place online we have the opportunity to attract audiences from far and wide to share with them the incredible legacy of Bill Gibb, and his unique connection to the north-east of Scotland.
“We are incredibly grateful to Bill Gibb’s sisters for participating in the symposium, and for their support in acquiring the superb Bill Gibb archive for Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums.”
Fashion, Fantasy, Collaboration: The Legacy of Bill Gibb will take place on March 20 from 10.30am-2.30pm and costs £10.
Full programme details and booking information can be found here.