Embroidery Circle with students form the Royal School of Needlework

What a treat to spend a day at the Royal School of Needlework, not only to connect with the staff and students (and Hampton Court Palace itself) but also for the Red Dress to receive lots of fantastic new small embroideries.

51 students/staff worked on the dress for over 6 hours and it felt very special and significant to be there as many years ago I used to tutor at the RSN (in Creative Practice) and the foundation students I worked with all added their own work to the garment in 2010.

Lucy Burges
Isabelle Langton-Dacies
Millie Darnell – Hayes
Imogen Campbell
Elizabeth Connolly
Chloe Angrave
Rebecca Ash
Tomas Asmelash
Freya Stanford
Kim Cotton
Grace Richardson
Fleur Webb
Isabella Rabasse
Becky Rowan
Sarah Dempsey
Leah Dunham
Kirsty Farrar
Amelia Gething
Eliza Gomersall
Hattie Toon
Rosie Sykes
Elissa Madin
Sophia Radovic-Sclater
Amelia Merrick
Eliza Burt
Megan Ellis
Denisa Manoila
Molly Murfin
Elizabeth Gray
Alexa Hawes
Anfaal Hussain
Sabina Lima
Alivia Lloyd
Christina Chung
Cecily Winter
Maddie Smith
Alice Long
Linnea Lyndon
Imogen Marmont
Ellie Payne
Jenna Riddell
Sonia Lee
Sally Randle
Nao Nagamura
Amy Turner
Sophie Dinning
Chloe Rogers
Emmalene Runeckles
Rowen Bennee
Daisy Streatfield
Nina Hilton


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.

The Red Dress is one of the most power pieces of clothing I have ever seen
Angelica Colleluci, Head of Design & Productions at Ozwald Boateng
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
I can't remember when they embroidered that piece of silk (2018?) but I feel that something has changed since. 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. Last year, I sent them a drawing and asked them to “interpretate" it the way they wanted; again it came back with a lot of emotions, another beautiful story. Thank you for giving them this opportunity
Nicole Esselan, Founder of Kisany Africa (supporting artisans in DR CONGO and RWANDA)
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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