Hi, my name’s Claire Barrett and I am pleased to welcome you to Sequintial Art. Every month I will bring you a snippet of life from the fashion embroidery front line, demystifying little bits of the professional fashion embroidery industry with some technique tutorials, news and a sneak peek at the workings of the fashion industry from the inside.
I am the Director of Hawthorne & Heaney, an embroidery company working in fashion, military, film, TV, theatre and art. We work with clients across all aspects of the design and production process, and have worked with many exciting young designers including Dean Quinn, Sophie Hulme, Reem Juan, Jonathan Anderson and possibly the most famous being Kanye West.
I fell into the fashion embroidery industry through a series of strange decisions, mishaps and, I believe, a little fate. After deciding on a year out after my Science A-Levels and signing a full time contract in a record shop in my home town I suddenly decided I couldn’t survive a year without a creative input and took on a full time Art foundation.
In the foundation I discovered I was passionate about fashion and proceeded to a BA Hons in Fashion Design at Kingston University. In my second year, after an ambitious attempt at an embroidered spine on a shirt for Thomas Pink, my tutor kicked me through the door of a lecture that was being given to the Kingston third year students by Alastair Macleod, the Chairman of Hand & Lock. He had with him the most beautiful samples and the most incredible passion about the work that the company produced and I knew I had to go and see them for myself.
I booked a visit and had the pleasure of meeting Carne Griffiths, the Creative Director, who was just as passionate and also the most skilled draftsman I had ever met. I saw the combination of technical skill and artistic ability he used in his work to create the most beautiful embroidered gold work pieces and I was hooked. Many months of internships and packets of biscuits eventually weakened them and I finally got my first job as a design assistant with Hand & Lock.
After three years I progressed to Creative Director and worked during my time there to try and bring the company further into the 21st Century. I really enjoyed my time at Hand & Lock and found it an utterly rewarding experience. Hawthorne & Heaney is the next step in my career in the industry and I am excited to take things in a new direction.
Hawthorne & Heaney push the boundaries of embroidery by offering embroidery sponsorships for young designers, giving them the freedom to create without the worry of budget, season by season. We believe supporting them is supporting the progress of technique and new ideas in fashion embroidery. It will be my pleasure to join you each month to share my view of embroidery in fashion and media and show you a little of my life in the professional fashion embroidery industry.