Looking through our archives, it’s filled with swatches that have drawn inspiration from our favourite artists, places and times. Be it a new city, an art gallery, or a fashion runway, we are surrounded by so much creativity and innovation that motivates us to design new embroideries, and we hope in turn that we can inspire our clients and designers through our work. We’ve selected a few couture designs from our collections over the years to tell the story behind the beads and sequins.
In 2018, we were lucky enough to be able to visit Claude Monet’s home in Giverny- Village, France. Growing up with a passion for art, the works of 19th Century painters like Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Renoir are etched in our minds as legendary art masterpieces, and visiting Monet’s home has been on our to do list for the longest time. The gardens were enchanting, beautiful and tranquil. Stunning landscaping and florals in every corner, we were blown away by the colours and aura that we saw and felt that day.
Post-Impressionist art evokes emotion rather than realism, and although modern art is hugely subjective and takes on so many different forms, this is all thanks to the revolution of artists such as Monet who rebelled against the limitations of what was considered “art” at the end of the 19th century.
Our visit to Monet’s home reminded us to look back through the stunning works of legendary painters from a bygone era, and the floral embroideries that we’ve created are our own personal ode to their talent and the beautiful artworks that live on in their legacy. Using shaded thread-work together with beading and sequins, we were able to achieve a delicate painterly quality that mimics brushstrokes left behind by a paintbrush. The sequin embroidery took 73 man hours and 40 different shades of custom-dyed sequins to achieve the organic shaded look of a painting. The warm and beautiful colour palette takes us right back to Monet’s home in Giverny, and for us this piece of couture celebrates post-impressionist art in all its freedom of creativity, colour and expression.
“What seems most significant to me about our movement [Impressionism] is that we have freed painting from the importance of the subject. I am at liberty to paint flowers and call them flowers…without their needing to tell a story”.
Pierre Auguste Renoir.
Today, contemporary art is culturally and socially diverse and takes on so many different shapes and forms. Artists such as Barbara Takenaga and Yayoi Kusama use composition, shape and light in harmony to create meticulously inspiring pieces that are hypnotic to the eye. Their work can be described as illusionistic, as they experiment with texture, depth, dimension and movement. Known for her abstract and psychedelic art, Takenaga explains that her work is a visual translation alluding to the ever changing nature of the physical world.
“I translate the hallucinations and obsessional images that plague me into sculptures and paintings”.
Whilst all these artworks are a personal representation of the artists’ thoughts and emotions, the beauty is that the viewer is free to draw his or her own interpretation and relate to these pieces in their own way. That, we believe, is what makes art so powerful and it is this philosophy that we allude to when creating any embroidery. The illusionistic quality of Takenaga and Kusama’s work is also an affect that we have achieved through many of our embellishments, using beads and sequins to create abstraction, depth and texture that entice the eye, in an almost entrancing and hypnotic manner. The abstract and surreal nature of these embellishments draws designers in, as their obscurity is open to interpretation of emotion and vibe. They make for a popular choice not only for couture and high-fashion detailing, but also wall hangings and embroidered wall art.
What strikes us is that although art movements have changed and continue to change all the time, the core motivation behind the work remains the same. That is to create something- anything, that expresses an idea and emotion. It is true that art cannot be truly defined by words or a confined to any particular medium. Spanning over music, literature, dance, sculpture, painting and textiles, we continue to be inspired by the world around us, and through our own designs, aim to stir emotion and a connection with our viewer or wearer.
“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not a work of art”.