Royal School of Needlework hand embroiders the 2013 Red Carpet Green
Dress worn at last night’s Oscar ceremony by British actress Naomie Harris
A team of 22 embroiderers at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) have
added a unique sustainable twist to this year’s Red Carpet Green Dress
worn by Skyfall’s Naomie Harris. Using a selection of vintage gold threads,
beads and sequins, the world’s experts in hand embroidery have helped to
create a stunning and sustainable red carpet dress.
The dress, designed by this year’s Red Carpet Green Dress Competition winner, Ghanaian fashion student Michael Badger, was constructed by Vivienne Westwood couturiers and embroidered by an RSN team who spent some 680 hours using traditional stitching skills to interpret the designer’s concept in a contemporary way.
The design, based on ‘volcanic lava’ lent itself well to using goldwork embroidery. An ancient technique associated with religious and ceremonial pieces, goldwork uses a variety of gold and other metal threads some of which are ‘couched’ down whilst other hollow gold threads are cut to a minute 2mm in length and stitched down like beads. Beads, sequins and gold foil have been added to give texture, depth and to catch the light.
RSN Studio Manager Amanda Ewing says, ‘Heading up the RSN team of 22 which including students, staff and tutors has helped us show the fashion world once again what the RSN can offer in creating bespoke embellished pieces. It’s been so exciting to work on this project and add our expertise in traditional embroidery techniques used in such a contemporary way on a red carpet dress.
And RSN Chief Executive Dr Susan Kay-Williams adds ‘Working alongside one of the world’s top fashion houses to create a red carpet dress with a sustainable twist is a great way to showcase our skills and flexibility as RSN stitchers’.