Sequintial Art – Embroidery for Costume Steps Up

Claire Barrett

Sequintial Art with Claire Barrett from Hawthorne and Heaney

In programs past, costume does not always carry the subtleties of the setting of the film because they needed to come across on the screen, so in person, the costumes can seem a little over the top. However with the increased popularity of HD TVs and 3D cinema, costume is having to step up its detail game and embrace that the audience will be able to see EVERYTHING. This years New Designers 2014 show showed an abundance of highly detailed costumes for all kinds of production showing that this is a move that is taking place right across the board.

Hawthorne & Heaney has been involved in part of this change as we have been asked to produce embroidery pieces for shows such as Dracula and Di Vinci’s Demons using traditional goldwork techniques such as the house badges . Shows with historical costumes that previously may have taken short cuts to create the effects they needed for the screen are now looking to people with the same skills as would have been used in the setting to provide an authentic look.

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Game of Thrones is great example of a costume team really pushing the boundaries on level of detail. Michele Clapton heads a vast team costumiers, armorers, dress makers along with Michele Carragher, responsible for the amazing embroidered creations for the principle cast members. HBO are so proud of their set and costumes they have produced an exhibition in which they display some of the costumes and props so that the public can appreciate them in all their glory.  The exhibition is on its way to its final stop, Vancouver where it will be showing from 16th Aug- 1st Sept so catch it if you can!

Michele Carragher’s designs have brought a bright spotlight onto embroidery in costume as the intricacy of her designs demands attention. She has a multitude of experience designing embroideries for costumes for other TV series and films before working on the plethora of pieces that she has produced. There is a variety of techniques used in her designs including goldwork, silk shading, beading, and smocking through which many subtle themes and concepts are communicated to reflect the development of the character as well as being remarkable pieces in their own right.

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In response to this, the London Embroidery School is delighted to present the final class in our Summer Season Series, the Jewelled Beetle class with Michele Carragher.  Now you can not just admire the Michele’s work from afar, but learn directly from the designer herself teaching one of her designs. The piece that will be taught in this one off class is a stumpwork embroidery beetle (below) it is an incredibly beautiful and intricate piece, reflecting the real insect with surprising accuracy. The skills from which can be transferred into other designs as Michele has done throughout the series.

If you would like to be part of this rare opportunity to learn from such a distinguished embroiderer then book your place now to avoid missing out. Follow the link to book or call 0207 226 0164.


Claire Barrett - Hawthorne & HeaneyClaire Barrett is an embroidery designer who has been working in the embroidery industry for six years. A former Creative Director at Hand & Lock, Claire runs Hawthorne & Heaney, dealing with celebrity clients such as Kanye West and high profile companies such as Henry Poole & Company Savile Row tailors.

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