Joyce Young OBE - Scottish Designer

Award winning Scottish Designer Joyce Young graduated with a BA Hons from the prestigious Glasgow School of Art in 1975. Her career spans over 4 decades. Her designs are sold from her elegant salons in Glasgow and London where her UK and International clients come to see her couture wedding and special occasion designs. The dresses are crafted in her own purpose built studio in Glasgow. Joyce's signature creations are classic shapes in luxurious fabrics with colour and detail giving each garment its very own unique personality.

Joyce grew up on the west coast of Scotland where the scenery and soft muted colours of the mountains, sea and sky made a big influence on her love of colour and texture. She is passionate about her homeland and believes her preference for soft flowing shapes evolves from the beautiful surroundings of the rolling green hills and wide cloudy skies.

Tartan started to play an important part in Joyce’s designs in 1993 when a friend gave her a Montgomery tartan scarf to make into a garment. Her friend’s tartan outfit won lots of admiration when she attended a function with her husband, he wore his Montgomery kilt and she wore her matching tartan evening outfit. This inspired the idea to design a wedding collection where the bride coordinates with the groom’s kilt and all the colours of the wedding party tone with the groom’s tartan. The majority of Scottish grooms get married wearing a kilt. This is a very strong and colourful look and Joyce feels that the bride should also have a strong presence that balances the groom. Scottish people are very proud of their heritage and enjoy wearing their family or generic tartan wherever they are in the world.

Joyce feels that Scottish men look resplendent in Highland Dress but that apart from old fashioned looking kilts and blouses that there weren’t many interesting tartan outfits for modern women to wear. She set about designing in tartan and calls the collection Tartan Spirit which embodies the tradition of Scottish heritage in an up to date concept which brings tartan for women into the 21st Century. Her tartan designs have taken her all over the world notably to Fashion Week in Los Angeles and Dressed to Kilt in New York.

Always the artist/designer Joyce is at her happiest surrounded by fabrics in her design studio in Glasgow working on the mannequin creating new ideas which put different tartans together. She feels some tartans are too masculine for her designs which led her to design 2 exclusive tartans which are called Tartan Spirit and By Storm. Tartan usually has a back story explaining what each colour represents. Joyce could say that the purple is for the heather on the hills, the green is for the fir trees, the dark blue is for the deep Scottish lochs and the fuchsia is for the wild mountain flowers. In reality they are “colours Joyce likes“ however the reason she likes these colours is steeped in her Scottish heritage.

Joyce at London store launch
Joyce and Maurice


In the 2012 Queen’s New Year Honours list Joyce was delighted and honoured to be awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) for her services to the Textile Industry.

Joyce and Prince Charles

Joyce is very excited to have the opportunity to show her tartan designs to the beautiful ladies of Japan and hopes that the idea of a Tartan Wedding in this romantic far off land will inspire many Japanese couples to come over and experience Scotland for themselves.

Designing with Tartan

Born in sight of mist-shrouded mountains and within hearing of lapping waves on the loch shores, Scottish designer Joyce Young is passionate about her native land and has grown up surrounded by the soft muted colours of the landscape.

In her world, gentle rain kisses the lochs, feeds heather-covered moors and tumbles down in streams that not only give whisky its unique flavours but provide the inspiration for Joyce's designs.

Her career has spanned over four decades and her signature creations are classic shapes in luxury fabrics with colour and detail giving each garment its very own unique personality. Her award winning company By Storm is the clear leader in the Scottish Wedding field with boutiques in Glasgow and London.

The collections are crafted in Glasgow in her design studio and niche production unit by a team of experienced, talented and inspirational individuals. Her Tartan Spirit brand of contemporary Scottish fashion and accessories has captivated a growing band of admirers at home and overseas.

In the 2012 Queen's New Year's Honours List Joyce was delighted and honoured to be awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) for her services to the Textile Industry.

Inspired by the diverse land and seascapes for which Scotland is famed, Joyces tarts designs blend those images into stunning contemporary creations that celebrate the country's precious fabrics - Harris Tweed, Cashmere and Tartan. Those time-honoured cloths are fashioned into quirky combinations with touches of humour that materialise as highly desirable pieces that attract an ever- increasing international following.

Purple tartan dress

Prestigious Clients

All our clients are stars to us but some are more in the public eye than others. We have had the pleasure of making outfits for Judy Murray who wore a bespoke coat and dress from our Couture Collection to Andy’s wedding and also has a tartan and tweed pinafore and tartan ribbon evening dress in her wardrobe. We have dressed Susan Boyle for her tour of the US and she wore our purple silk coat and trousers with tartan trim to sing at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Katherine Grainger became a dame of the Realm at Buckingham Palace in our elegant coat and dress with tartan trim. We designed the costumes for Fiona Kennedy’s Highland Heartbeat and Kist productions and Scottish Clarsach player and singer Katie target Adams has worn many of our tartan outfits on stage. Scottish model, author and presenter Eunice Olumide wore a stunning simple silk gown to her wedding to Commonwealth gold medallist Steve Frew. These are only a few of the many celebrities who have worn Joyce Young Tartan Spirit. Many like to keep us a secret once they find us as they don’t want their friends to find out! This makes us a "best kept secret" We also respect their privacy. All our lovely ladies feel like stars when they have experienced the process of having a bespoke dress designed for them.

Dame Katherine Grainger
Dame Katherine Grainger
Joyce and Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle
Katie Targett Adams
Katie Targett Adams
Judy Murray
Judy Murray
Eunice Olumide
Eunice Olumide
Fiona Kennedy
Fiona Kennedy

Joyce's Tips

You have decided to wear tartan, what next?

Q. How much tartan do you want to wear? Full dress head to toe or just a touch of tartan?

A. Tartan is a very strong look. Be careful not to be swamped in colour and pattern if deciding to wear a complete dress or outfit in tartan. Personality also plays a part. It helps to be a bit of an extravert or have strong colouring if you don’t want to disappear behind the fabric. There are subtle ways of wearing tartan beware that the tartan doesn’t wear you!

Q. Is it important that it is your family tartan or one your family is affiliated to or will you choose a generic tartan because you like the colours?

A. Purists will want their family tartan but if you don’t have one or you are relaxed about it there are hundreds of newly designed tartans available in a wide variety of colour combinations. As a designer I am happy to wear any tartan if I like the colours and designed our own 2 tartans Tartan Spirit and By Storm in colours that I particularly like.

Q. Do you have to wear tartan when attending a Burn’s Supper or St Andrew’s Day ball?

A. When taking part or being a guest at a St Andrews Day or Burns function it is particularly appropriate to wear tartan. If you don’t have any items of tartan clothing just add a scarf, bag or corsage as a nod to the Scottishness of the function.

We have a contemporary collection of bags and accessories which are ideal to "Tartan up“ an outfit. Enjoy wearing tartan and wear it with pride.

Joyce with Eunice Olumide at her wedding

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