So this month we have been mostly obsessing about ……. VALENTINO.
Valentinos latest couture collection was a wonderful look back into his rich archive with the extensive use of the budellini technique his atelier is credited for inventing ! Updated by the use of a sheer base and a slightly baroque pattern, it was chic simple and understated.
If you missed the Valentino Exhibition at Somerset house, make sure you buy the book ! The exhibition about the “master of couture” really did live up to its name and had the most incredible collection of, tambour, pages, budellini, ribbon work and just too many incredible techniques to mention. After our third trip we still hadn’t seen it all properly.
One of the highlights was at the end where a video showed a sneaky peek into the Atelier with techniques demonstrated by the couturiers themselves. It is not often we are privileged enough to have these skills shared in such an open way as the Paris Atelier is historically a very closed environment and courses in such techniques can sometimes cost into the thousands. It was great to see so many people (on each of our three trips!) cricking their necks at the full video to gleam what they could from the very brief overview of some of the Masters most famous techniques.
Between us we chose a class that could be completed in an evening and was accessible to all levels. It was our biggest Class to date and myself, my tutor Sara and our interns Laura and Chiara were running round frantically for the full three hours ! The evening began with a rather organised team (if we do say so ourselves) meeting the wonderful volunteers from Somerset House and setting up the space for 30. Everyone was provided with organza for their first flower to make things a little easier. Valentinos roses in the exhibition were origionally tulle, but silk tulle is very very slippery so we decided to keep it for the clever clogs who got onto their second rose within the three hours ! After negotiating the difficult centre piece, most of our willing victims were flying through their petals. Everyone completed at least one rose, some two and a few even got them applied to their evening bag by the end of the night !
Lots of thanks to Somerset House for having us and their volunteers for keeping an eye on us ! We had a wonderful time and the evening was totally sold out !
Due to the amazing response we had to this class (and a bit of nagging) LES has decided to put on a couple more of these classes and have added a couple of new techniques to our repertoire !!
Secrets of the Atelier, Couture Class series at London Embroidery School.
Claire 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. Claire is passionate about making embroidery accessible to everyone by offering sponsorships to young designers and even running the London Embroidery School to teach beginners classes to those who are interested in getting a taste of what embroidery has to offer.