Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Handbag made from Highland cow stomach lining

Media captionJocelyn Mather collection ranges from a formal clutch to a dainty handbag

A handbag collection created using the stomach lining of a Highland cow has been designed by an Edinburgh student.

Jocelyn Mather, a fourth-year design student at Edinburgh Napier University, said: "My lecturer kept saying they would look great on Lady Gaga."

Her four statement bags, on display at the university's Creative Degree Show from Friday, were all hand-stitched.

The collection ranges from a formal clutch to a dainty handbag, with tripe used as a lining or outer material.

The fastenings are also made using the animal's horns and a bull-ring.

Ivory alert

However, the 23-year-old student hit a hiccup along the way when her flat was raided by wildlife officers.

"My letting agent had been carrying out an inspection in my flat and had obviously come across a pair of cow horns," she said.

Image caption Lady Gaga famously sported a "meat dress" for the MTV Video Music Awards

"He had thought they were ivory tusks and called the police. I was terrified but they just laughed when they saw the horns."

Ms Mather added: "Forty per cent of the animal is edible but a lot of the 'off-cuts', like tripe, are used for dog-food.

"A lot of abattoirs also sell the hides on to customers in Italy and I just thought, this is our national animal, why aren't we more proud of it.

"If each butcher was given one cow, one pig and one sheep to feed his local community every part of the animals would be used, but in this day and age of mass-farming that just doesn't happen.

"I wanted to show more respect for this stunning animal by using its less palatable pieces to create something beautiful and unique."

Ian Lambert, art design and communication subject group leader, said: "Jocelyn's designs are thought-provoking and like much of the work set to go on show, executed to a high standard."

The show at Merchiston campus runs until 2 June.

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