Lekazia Turner, embroiderer from Jamaica, 2022

UK | 2009 — 2023

Artist Kirstie Macleod created the Red Dress project in 2009, and has stitched many embroideries along the years, often as a visual diary to mark key events:

Geometric Disintegration 2010 - ongoing
Begining as a geomteric design, over the years Kirstie began to break and disperse the motif into the Red Dress

“But you are Beautiful” 2011

“Happily Ever After”  2012, stitched on during an installation of the Red Dress (worn by Kirstie inside the perspex cube at Gallery Maeght, Paris) as she knew she was expecting her first son, Sky.

Spiders Web 2012
This motif is couched, and speaks of her desire to create a web of connection and unity around the world through the Red Dress Project.

Cosmic Swirl 2020
Created whilst in Mexico with the Red Dress

“Stitching the world back together one stitch at a time” 2020
Quote by her sister Isla Macleod, which Kirsti felt should be on the dress itself

Covid 2020

Lebibe 2021
In memory of a loving mother who was murdered in Kosovo, on behalf of her 2 sons.

Heart for Ukraine 2022

Coloured Stars
Dotted around the entire dress, each colour represts and marks a specific Red Dress exhibition, eg:
Pink = Kosovo, 2021
Orange = Connect Centre, Somerset, UK, 2021
Purple = Goddess House, Glastonbury, 2021
Green = Ace Arts Somerset, UK, 2022
Yellow = Poland whilst connecting with Ukrainian Refugees, 2021
White = Ahead of it’s exhibition at the Fashion and Textle Musuem, London 2022
Royal Blue = Bosnia Herzegovina, whilst connecting with 15 female survivors of CRSV, 2022
Rainbow = Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 2023
Cologne = gradients of purple to.pink, 2023

Flow (Cologne) 2023

SM BSM (Kirstie’s sons initials) 2023

Assorted vines on the top CB of the skirt, 2023

3 sisters (white daisies), 2023


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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