Lekazia Turner, embroiderer from Jamaica, 2022


UK / 2023


Married non-binary couple Justin and Caroline reflect on important parts of their identities.

Justin writes:

My piece reflects my non-binary gender fluid identity. The figure reflects male and female energies. The non-binary colour is yellow. I have represented the spirit energy with the colours of the trans flag. White with flecks of blue and pink. Being a non-binary person with a more female energy I wanted to convey although I am happy with my male anatomy I do feel the divine feminine within me. This energy is powerful. I inhabit the physical form of a white male but that's just what the world sees.

I added the red ribbon motif to symbolise my HIV positive status. There is a fear from most HIV positive people about disclosing their status. The word 'stigma' is commonly used. I have lost friends who couldn't live with the stigma. It's time for me to stand up and say 'look at me, I'm living with HIV and you know what I'm doing well'. U=U mean's undetectable means untransmissible. If you are on medication, you can't infect anyone else. That gives us hope.

Caroline writes:

My robot image illustrates my practical approach to my day to day activities. As a teacher I’ve had to be systematic in order to organise lesson activities, resources whilst thinking of the needs of the students.

Additionally, I feel I’ve never identified with binary expectations, and this has made me feel robotic in my identity as a non-organic existence frees one from identifying as a gender.

The bear element however interesting contrasts with this thinking. Looking at Kawaii imagery brings me joy, it’s an escapism from the ‘grey’ elements that the world has the ability to project.

As a child I would think, ‘wouldn’t it be lovely to live in Technicolor’.

Interestingly always joke with my colleagues, ‘if it’s an inanimate object but has a cute face it probably belongs to me’!

If you would like to contact/commission Justin or Camila, please connect with them on Instagram: www.instagram.com/justinstylefashionista


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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