British couturier, Catherine Walker & Co, has reunited for the second year running with the Royal School of Needlework. Two second year BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery Degree students - Alice Long and Lucy Martin - were given the opportunity to experience the inner workings of the iconic couturier and utilise their hand embroidery skills under the guidance of Head of Design Said Cyrus and his team of 30 artisans – some of whom have been with the House for over twenty years.
The Royal School of Needlework Degree Students worked on the ‘Cora’ jacket which features delicate, hand embroidered, pink rose buds, Silk Shaded leaves and stems, and French Knots – all combining to lend depth and animation to the blush pink jacket in double wool crepe. Two handmade buttons have also been layered with embroidery. Similar roses will festoon a hat created with Ladies Day at Royal Ascot (in normal times) in mind – or a summer wedding.
Catherine Walker founded Catherine Walker & Co 40 years ago in 1977 with her business partner and husband Said Cyrus, a former lecturer in design theory for ten years at the Chelsea School of Art. The House designs two collections each year, including evening and cocktail dresses, business and occasion suits, day and coat dresses and wedding dresses. Catherine Walker & Co was perhaps the first House in the UK to introduce Savile Row tailoring to women's formal and occasion wear in the 1970s.
Angie Wyman, Leader of the Degree Course at the Royal School of Needlework, said, “Industry collaborations give our students such valuable insights into the real world, enabling them to apply their hand embroidery skills to new contexts and materials as well as gain experience - all of which are a key part of their learning and preparation for their career path.”For more information visit: royal-needlework.org.uk