Embroidered details in Game of Thrones
‘Michele Carragher is a London-based Hand Embroiderer and Illustrator who has been working in costume on film and television productions for over 15 years. She studied Fashion Design at The London College of Fashion, where the course incorporated design, pattern cutting, garment construction, embroidery, millinery and illustration. At the same time she attended a three year evening course in Saddlery at Cordwainers College learning skills in leatherwork.
After leaving college Michele worked in Textile Conservation, repairing and restoring historical textiles for private collectors and museums, specialising in hand embroidery. She then moved into a career in costume for film and television, initially working as a Costume Assistant/Maker on productions such as the BBC’s Our Mutual Friend, ITV’s David Copperfield and Mansfield Park. She soon gravitated towards the decoration and embellishment of costumes, using skills in hand embroidery and surface decoration, taking inspiration from the many historical textiles she had encountered working as a Textile Conservator.
The first production that saw her undertake the role of a Principal Costume Embroiderer was for HBO’s 2005 Emmy Costume award-winning production of Elizabeth 1. Her most recent work has been on HBO’s 2012 Costume award-winning television series Game of Thrones, working on all three seasons.
As a Costume Embroiderer Michele specialises in hand embroidery and surface embellishment, using traditional hand embroidery techniques, smocking, beading and surface decoration. She works directly onto the completed garment or starts with motifs and textures on silk crepeline/organza, which are applied to the costume and then worked into once on the actual garment. She also works on existing machine embroidery designs that are not too dense, adding some hand stitching and beading to give a more authentic, hand-finished look.
Michele finds hand embroidery has more flexibility and diversity than that of embroidery created by machine, as there is a greater variety of thread choice and colours to use. It is also possible to work more easily on garments that are already constructed. However, machine embroidery in combination with hand work can be very useful when completing many repeats by creating light outlines or a less dense machine stitch, work can then be completed by hand and again can be carried out on a finished garment.
Michele is a highly creative Costume Embroiderer, producing original designs as well as working closely to a costume designer’s brief to create their desired look.’
Text and images from http://www.michelecarragherembroidery.com
Documents d’une robe démontée, vers 1790, en gros de Tours de soie crème brodé de soie polychrome, filé et paillettes argent d’un semis de fleurettes sur le champ et de larges bordures de feuilles, gerbes de lys, oeillets, plantes ombellifères et graminées autour desquelles sont accrochés des colliers de pierres du Rhin retenant des camées à l’antique en satin imprimé. Bas de robe et corsage démontés, (manques et accidents).
My bad Google translation: Documents a dress removed, 1790, Wholesale Tours cream silk embroidered with polychrome silk yarn and silver glitter with a sprinkling of flowers on the field and wide borders of leaves, bunches of lilies, carnations, umbelliferous plants and grasses around which are hung necklaces rhinestones holding cameos in ancient printed satin. Low dress and blouse removed (gaps and accidents).
Stunning. Look at the cameos!
Court dress, ca. 1750
Blue silk taffeta brocaded with silver thread
“In the eighteenth century, formal dress was so closely associated with Versailles and the French court that it was universally described as the robeà la française. As illustrated here, the robeà la françaisehas a fitted overdress. It is open at the front, with a decorative bodice insert called a stomacher covering the corset and an underskirt, the petticoat, showing under the splayed drapery of the overskirt.
In its most formal configuration, the robeà la françaisepresented a particularly wide and flattened profile accomplished by enlarged panniers. Constructed of supple bent wands of willow or whalebone and covered in linen, panniers took on broader or narrower silhouettes. The most remarkable held out the skirts like sandwich boards, barely wider than the body in side view, but as expansive as possible in front or rear view. As shown in the etching Les Adieux (33.22.1), a woman so garbed had to pass through a door sideways.”
V&A: This is a magnificent example of English court dress of the mid-18th century. It would have been worn by a woman of aristocratic birth for court events involving the royal family. The style of this mantua was perfectly suited for maximum display of wealth and art; this example contains almost 10lb weight of silver thread worked in an elaborate ‘Tree of Life’ Design. The train is signed ‘Rec’d of Mdme Leconte by me Magd. Giles’. The name Leconte has been associated with Huguenot embroideresses working in London between 1710 and 1746. The Huguenots were French Protestants who, following the repressive measures against them that the Catholic monarch Louis XIV of France restarted in 1685, emigrated to Britain and elsewhere.
One of my friends parents offered to pick me up a few saris and pashminas from India if I would send them some photos. Enter pinterest. The next thing I know I’ve spent three hours lusting over fabric.
Tomorrow I will share with you a few of my favorites!