Lekazia Turner, embroiderer from Jamaica, 2022

Laila Garzon Deguer


Pro-choice rights for women in Argentina

Laila met Kirstie at a Red Dress embroidery event on International Women’s Day at Bristol City Hall in 2020. She was also taking part in the event - highlighting the work of the charity Aborto Legal (based in Argentina) to the British public.

Since the return of democracy in 1983, the only option for desperate women seeking a termination were underground, unsafe procedures resulting in more than 3,000 deaths. The last 5 years has seen a huge surge in women’s rights groups around the country protesting for equality and justice for women. Primarily engaged in protesting against the abhorrent gender violence the movement soon encompassed demands for access to legal, safe and free abortion.

Aborto Legal came into being in 2005 with a commitment to defend the right to abortion, to educate, raise awareness and coordinate activities all over the country under the motto "Sex education to decide, contraceptives so as not to abort, legal abortion so as not to die ”

At the end of the Red Dress event Laila came into the embroidery room with a few minutes to spare - to add the AL motif on to the dress.

Since the Red Dress event, early in 2021 the landmark decision to legalise abortion was reached in Argentina. A momentous event for all women in the country and around the world. Huge congratulations to all at AL for all the important work you did to help raise awareness around the world.

If you would like to know more about Aborto Legal please see there website: http://www.abortolegal.com.ar/


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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