The Royal School of Needlework showcased an impressive exhibition of exceptional embroidery and needlework. With the projects present at the exhibition, it is clear that the university’s ethos that the skill of needlework their graduates possess, “sets them apart” from the rest of their peer group with a love demonstration at play at the exhibition, where the audience could observe their intricate craftsmanship.

Elliott Reynold’s thigh high platform boots is the central piece of the exhibition. Elliott presents vibrant and bold contrasting colours that explode in the plain set up of the exhibition room. The boots are embellished with intricate patterns of embroidery, which took approximately one hundred hours to complete per pair of boots. Elliott deconstructs eastern imagery through the colours and patterns used on his boots but simultaneously explore the late 60’s/early 70’s era with their iconic platform footwear, creating a mesh between two different ages.

Lavia Papiernik showcased her sentimental homage to nature through the embroidered creation of a handbag and matching shoes. Inspiration taken from her grandmother’s poetry and love of all things that grow, Lavia constructed a totally personal piece. Using materials of raffia to construct the main body of the handbag and show and fimo polymer clay, she handmade the delicate blue flowers that embellished her woven accessories. Lavia will go on to work in India to pursue her needlework passions in the tops of the industry.

Additionally, Alex Standring combined fear and faith in her collection of needlework. Facing her fear of spiders, Alex incorporated holy imagery found of the Byzantine with her symbols of fear in the image of the spider. The centre of her collection is a large headdress that shows the two different sides of her main principle: one being the holy image of a religious figure and the opposite side showcasing the fear of spiders. Overall, Alex designs a creative and innovative concept that indeed sets her apart from other fashion designers. 


Words by Anna Tank

Photography by Stefan Jakobowski