Lekazia Turner, embroiderer from Jamaica, 2022

Ille Rosenberg

(initiated by Meeli Virkus) ESTONIA / 2022

“Everything that reminds you of home”.

This is my little story to explain why I wanted to be a little part of the beautiful project. I saw The Red Dress first time at Zigzag building and read about stories that came with pieces of embroidered parts of it...I understood that this is not just a dress but very special one with sad and good stories about life of women all around the world, women who try to cope and sometimes even to survive through handcrafts...I felt myself as a part of these stories because I was far away from my home and handcrafting helped to get some balance of being homesick and happy to be with my grandchildren.

I found beautiful ladies who were so nice and shared my passion for knitting. I find that crafty people are very friendly and helpful everywhere it doesn’t matter from where they are. Then I thought about Estonian women who could survive hard times in Siberia where Soviet Government sent lot of families, men were separated from others and sent to work quarries and woods, only few survived these conditions but women had to feed kids and they did it mostly because they had good skills handcrafting and sewing so they could sell items...nowadays it brings together Estonian women again from all over the world via FB because we have a group in FB and it looks that we love handcrafting...I think it would be great to be a part of this project and I feel that Earth is small place and it’s wonderful to be in family of women all over the world.

I asked my friend to embroider a little piece of MUHU TIKAND and it tells about nature around you every day you can see: plants, flowers, butterflies strawberries...everything that reminds you home. I wanted to try to embroider it on the dress but then COVID virus happened and I had to leave UK...

ILLE ROSENBERG is my friend who made this little picture and she said that she feels it’s not good enough to display on the dress and I explained it is not only about perfect embroidery it has much much bigger meaning...

My name is Meeli Virkus and my feelings are described at the beginning and I think about all these young women’s stories....

Contact: Please connect with Kirstie at reddressembroidery@gmail.com to put you in touch directly.


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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