London Fashion Week (Feb ’14) is underway and now is the time to reveal what I’ve been up to the last few weeks…..
This season, I’ve been helping out on Greek-born, British-based designer Mary Katrantzou’s ready-to-wear catwalk collection. Hand and Lock (the embroidery company I’ve worked for) were given the opportunity to hand-embroider a number of panels in our studio, inspired by three-dimensional jewellery and featuring extensive goldwork and beading. Although the pieces embody a combination of hand and machine embroidery techniques, both elements integrating happily alongside each other, it is the hand-worked elements I shall briefly talk about – namely, the use of goldwork.
The top picture, known between ourselves as the ‘Lady’ panel, is encrusted with numerous different beads, crystals and sequins. A number of goldwork techniques were utilized: the central stem of the butterfly, the swans’ wings, the smaller birds’ bodies and the rope-like form extending next to the parakeets were all done in gold ‘purl’. The parakeets were silk-shaded, covered with transparent sequins and edged in gold pearl purl (another type of goldwork thread).
Here is our stop-motion video of the piece being created: watch out for me rocking the Reading Festival wristband!
Below, an unusual panel comprised of various different elements, including military-style medallions and badges. The text around ‘The Royal College of Midwives’ was done by me in goldwork ‘S-ing’, before the blue background was later beaded. Separate elements of the design are padded to different heights, further enhancing the shine and sparkle of the embellishments.
Finally, a beautiful-eyed penguin surrounded by two koi carp. They are a perfect example of the height that can be achieved through multiple layers of padding, standing a good few centemetres proud of the surface of the piece. The interlocked diamonds at the top are also goldworked by hand.