When not being a fashion blogger, I am a fashion designer. One of my recent projects has been creating a brand new collection that is all rather top secret. What I can share with you is that during my creative work for this new label, I have had the joy of collaborating with Hand and Lock. Just incase you haven’t had the pleasure of coming across this company before, let me tell you a little about them.
Founded in 1767, Hand and Lock are not only a world leading expert resource for hand embroidery, specialising in stunning military and ecclesiastical ‘goldwork’, they are also the Queen’s own embroiderer. Aside from all of their unique work within the world of British historical establishments, uniforms and ceremonial robes, they also work closely with interior designers, couturiers and fashion labels. Hand and Lock say of themselves:
“We are a living antique, but moving with the times, bringing hand embroidery into the present.”
My project with them was to create some placement embroidery which has an antique, authentic, militaria inspired feel. With this as the brief there really was no-one else I could work with! I met with Scott Heron, Hand and Lock’s Head of Design. and he very kindly showed us around the workroom and archives, explaining the different techniques, approaches, styles and reference points. I wanted to share with you some of things we saw as it really was a uniquely inspirational experience.
Set in the heart of London’s tradition fashion district, as soon as you walk in you realise that this is something very special. Not only are the contents of Hand and Lock’s many cabinets amazingly historical, never changing in design and make-method for decades, the cabinets themselves are wonderfully characterful.
Inside every box, drawer, cabinet is an absolute treasure trove of wonderfully inspiring, hand crafted decorative elements belonging to specific regiments, orders and events. As a designer it was hard to remain calm in the face of such utter beauty at every turn.
The handcrafted embroidery is still completed in-house by a small team of extremely skilled individuals. From week to week, the team could be working on something for a regimental celebration or the new collection for Alexander McQueen. What an amazingly creative job.
We ended our tour with Scott by sitting down amongst some rather imposing pictures of the Royal Family, alongside some exceptionally beautiful work, discussing exactly what we wanted to create together, in what style and colours.
I have to say that this was one of my favourite creative experiences and cannot thanks my client enough for enabling it to happen. I cannot wait for the label to launch so that I can share more about it with you! For more posts about fashion inspiration, just look here.