The Red Dress

24th March 2023

Regular readers of our publications will know we often talk about our belief that every stitched piece has a story. British artist Kirstie Macleod shares this philosophy and embarked upon her own audacious project that resulted in the creation of a stunning embroidered piece that gives a voice to hundreds of individual stitchers.

The project is called The Red Dress.

Kirstie coordinated a global initiative where she encouraged a diverse range of contributors to tell their personal story through embroidery.

Over a period of 13 years, pieces of the Red Dress travelled the globe being continuously embroidered.

Kirstie’s aim was to provide ‘an artistic platform for women around the world, many of whom are vulnerable and live in poverty. Each artist was encouraged to draw inspiration from their culture and traditions to design and create a piece that expresses their individual identity’.

The contributors are artists from all walks of life, including ex-war refugees, current refugees, beginner embroiderers, asylum seekers and artists who have carried traditional techniques from their heritage into the modern day.

Once all 86 pieces of the burgundy silk dupion were assembled, the end result was a resplendent floor-length gown representing 374 embroiderers across 50 different countries, including Palestine, Egypt, Bosnia, Kenya and Turkey.

365 of the 374 contributors were women, and 136 of them will receive a portion from the profits made off the exhibition, with the rest volunteering to contribute to the piece.

You can read more about this remarkable initiative on the Red Dress website HERE, including details for all the upcoming exhibitions planned right through to 2025.

Join our FREE weekly newsletter All Stitched Up!

Back to top