Since the last bank holiday weekend we're still dreaming of the palm trees and pineapples – the kind that can be found in Juliet Ferry's tropical embroideries, and in the pages of Selvedge issue 82...
'My parents met in Paradise,’ jokes the embroiderer, Juliet Ferry. ‘They were working on a campsite called “Paradise” in France when I came along as a baby and caused trouble. That’s why the theme of my work is "Trouble in Paradise". I have it written everywhere, on jackets and on bags...’
Ferry, who joined London’s Hand & Lock atelier as head of embroidery in 2016, grew up in France and studied Embroidery and Textile design at the Lycée Gilles Jamain in Rochefort. It was an intense classical training in textile arts and haute couture embroidery. ‘It’s the only embroidery school that teaches goldwork because Rochefort was an arsenal and is famous for its military embroidery.’
Photograph by Alun Calendar
Ferry, 25, actually started out studying for a degree in fashion design and had her own jewellery range as a teenager.‘For many years,’ she says,‘I had a love affair with Swarovski.’ But at design high school, her mentor was a tailor. ‘My mentor really taught me about tradition rather than just the industry. I started embroidery as a hobby and then, while I was studying, I missed the touch of fabric and decided to go to a couture embroidery school. Embroidery allows me to be creative and, for me, it is a mix between jewellery and fashion.’
When Hand & Lock emailed the Lycée in Rochefort saying they were looking for an experienced hand-embroiderer, Ferry came over for a trial day, and was hired. ‘I’m afraid we are trained better in France when it comes to the technical side of embroidery. I see it with my interns here,’ she observes, though she’s quick to mention she can’t compete with their digital embroidery skills…
You can read this article in full in the current issue of Selvedge: the lace issue.