New England
Lace Group

Project Lace Dress

Kirsten Brinckmann

With great interest I have followed the “Red Dress” project, conceived by British artist Kirstie Macleod, which provides an artistic platform for women around the world, to tell their personal stories through embroidery.

During 11 years, from 2009 to 2020, the Red Dress travelled around the globe being embroidered by more than 200 women and 2 men from 28 countries!

Some of the women were established master embroiderers, others first-time embroiderers. They were encouraged to tell a personal story that they would like to share through embroidery, expressing their own identities, adding their own cultural and traditional experience. Some chose to create using a specific style of embroidery practiced for hundreds of years in their family, village, or town.

Initially the project sought to generate a dialogue of identity through embroidery, merging diverse cultures, with no borders.

The Red Dress’s 11-year journey around the world through embroidery is now complete, with the dress assembled in its final configuration. Covered in millions of stitches, the 6.2 kg silk dress is weighted as much by the individual stories and collective voices waiting to be heard as by the threads and beads that adorn it. It has been exhibited in various galleries and museums worldwide. In future, the artisans will be invited to take part in exhibiting the Red Dress in their own countries alongside their own work. You will find detailed information:

I was incredibly impressed and thought: Look what we can achieve, when we put our talents and skills together!

How interesting it is to get to know the many personal stories of all the embroiderers. Inspired by this extraordinary project, I came up with the idea of initiating a similar project centered around a Lace Dress.

How wonderful would it be if lace makers from all over the world work together to decorate one dress with lace?

So, I’m pleased to invite all lace makers in the world to participate in this project! The finished dress is to be exhibited and admired at the 20th OIDFA World Lace Congress in Hamburg from 4 - 6 August 2023! It won't be long until then….I have drawn a sketch of the Lace Dress, look at the cover - this is what it could look like.

The more lace makers who participate, the more opulent the design of the dress will be, therefore please tell your lace friends about it too and bring this project out into the lace world.

Let me describe the possibilities the project offers you.

Choose any lace technique you like, or a combination of two ore more, create your own design or choose a traditional pattern (note the designer's specifications!) and adapt it to the given formats and dimensions. The pieces of lace can be executed in two or three dimensions. I have put together several geometric shapes - square, rectangle and triangles in different sizes. Please download the PDF pattern sheet, select one or more geometric patterns, and make sure to check the given dimensions!

You can use any textile material (e.g. silk, cotton, linen) in various thicknesses, but please only in white or off-white color!

It would be nice if you would document the planning of the pattern and the execution process, with photos if you like.

If you would also like to share your personal story through lacemaking with us, ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers:

  1. What encouraged you to start making lace?
  2. What fascinates you so much that you spend time, energy and money on it?
  3. What inspires you, where do you get your ideas from?
  4. Do you specialize in something?
  5. What place does making lace have in your everyday life?
  6. What has making lace changed in your life, what is its importance?

Finally, all your laces will then be arranged and appliquéd by hand, the design for the dress - which is dependent on the number of pieces of lace I receive - will be created in collaboration with costume designers and then made from silk fabric in my studio in Hamburg.

After the congress, the dress will travel and be exhibited, together with all the stories it tells. Later the dress is to be auctioned off for social charity or donated to a museum. I am very much looking forward to meeting many new lace makers through this project!

Kirsten Brinckmann

Conditions of participation

  • The project Lace Dress is open to all lace makers of the world!
  • To participate in this project, please send the completed and signed registration form to me by 30 September 2022 at the latest.
  • Registrations received after the deadline as well as incomplete registrations will not be considered.
  • The finished laces must reach me by 31 December 2022.
  • More than one piece of lace may be submitted by any person or group.
  • Please label accompanying photos (the laces preferably photographed on a black background) in high quality (300 dpi) and documents (word doc) with your name before you send them to me.
  • By sending the digital photos and further information, you automatically agree to the free use of these for press purpose, on the internet and in social networks.
  • Pieces of lace, which do not fulfill the specified measurements, technical or qualitative requirements, can unfortunately not be accepted.
  • All mailing, possible insurance costs and any customs duties in case are to be paid by the participant.

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