Lekazia Turner, embroiderer from Jamaica, 2022

Daniel Okrasa + Miriam Synger

POLAND / 2023
Daniel Okrasa

SECTION OF THE DRESS: Traditional Folk embroidery from Lublin, Poland

Daniel is a curator at the Central Musuem of Textiles in Łódź in Poland, and wrote to Kirstie in 2022 about the possibility of exhibiting the Red Dress at the Musuem. During their exchange he asked whether there was any embroidery on the Red Dress from Poland, Kirstie explained there were 2 very small motifs added during events in London and Poland but that there wasn’t an official commissioned piece.

We discussed the possibility of organising a panel to be created, and Daniel suggested Miriam Synger (see below!) and then Kirstie asked whether he would also like to create a piece, and he agreed!

“After moment when Kirstie invited me to take a part in The red Dress project, I immediately knew what kind of embroidery I want to make. I decided to stitch a pattern connected with folk culture of Lublin region, where I come from.

Outer ornaments are reconstruction of patterns used in shirts from 1900s and middle part is quotation from embroidery made by Bogumiła Wójcik – folk artist. For my piece I used red, black, yellow and blue – typical for embroideries from Krzczonów/Lublin region. As a background I used white canvas because stitches were made only on shirts made of white or natural colour linen and in this way I wanted to keep the context of traditional pattern. I used a cross stitch technique which was first used in Krzczonów at the beginning of 20th century and came to this region from Russia”.

To contact Daniel: www.instagram.com/okrasadaniel

Miriam Synger

SECTION OF THE DRESS: Star of David (Magen David)

Miriam Synger is a strong woman, a mother, feminist, Orthodox Jewess and author living in Poland. She is a mother to five children, and wants to prove that Jewish life is still possible in Poland. Coming from an assimilated Polish family, she is a third generation Holocaust survivor. And she believes that Poland is not a big cemetery.

“When I received proposition to take part in The Red Dress project, I agreed immediately. This is fantastic idea and beautiful realisation. At one moment I knew what I want to embroider – Star of David (Magen David). This is universal symbol of Jewish people. For me it’s very interesting in its simplicity. Stacked on top of each other two triangles which show 6 parts of worlds, 6 different paths and 6 different directions.

I used a few shades of blue with intense red. For me these are colours of sky and the weather (spaces least available for human beings, yet so much connected with nature), and the colours in my opinion represents human nature – deadly on one hand and full of love from the other”.

To contact Miriam: www.instagram.com/jestem_zydowka


A huge thank you to all who have given their time, energy, enthusiasm, advice, experience and financial support to the Red Dress project over the years.

In addition to the institutions below, funding has been gratefully received from a number of private donations and 441 individuals around the world via 2 Crowdfunding campaigns in 2020 and 2022.

Nothing expresses more eloquently the feelings I suspect we share about the importance of embroidery in our lives, and the support we derive from the friendships made through stitch, than Kirstie Macleod’s Red Dress.
Caroline Zoob, Editor of Stitchers Journal 2022
This beautiful object highlights the common ground between individuals, bringing together different identities and uniting people, we are honoured to contribute to it.
Tiny Kox, PACE President at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 2023
The Red Dress has become an icon of the international textile world.
Suzanne Smith, Textile Society 2022
The Red Dress in its final incarnation, a magnificent, regal robe, symbolises the empowerment of women through the creation of something beautiful, something which began with bowed heads and tired fingers but also with faith and joy, an openness and willingness to be a part of something which they could not see at that time but in which they could believe had meaning and worth connecting with other women around the world.
Lady Alison Myners, Chair of the Royal Academy Trust 2020
The Red Dress is in some respects similar to Mail Art, the populist artistic movement centred on sending small scale works through the postal service. It initially developed out of the Fluxus movement in the 1950s and 60s – but on a larger scale – the journey of the work is part of its identity, process, and in fact function. A signifier of the temporal and physical nature of the process inherent in the creation of the piece. The surface of the dress layered with embroidery slowly transforming into a specific topographical map – completely particular to the work’s journey – and reflective of the burgeoning sculptural landscape of the object.
Paul Black, Artlyst 2015
It’s her (Kirstie’s) red silk Dupion bodice and voluminous skirt created for the Red Dress that fully demonstrates her commitment to embroidery and the immense respect for the international community of makers.
Denna Jones. Embroidery Magazine 2010
...the fact that they could embroider what they wanted and that it is appreciated has given them some strength, some confidence that I didn’t feel so strongly before they created the embroideries.
Nicole Esselan, Founder of Kisany Africa, supporting artisans in DR CONGO and RWANDA who created embroidery on the Red Dress in 2018
This is both an extraordinary work of collective art and profound and eloquent social commentary. It is also an example of how potent the Attire language is capable of becoming.
Attires Mind (Fashion Blogger) 2020
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