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The Red Dress Project

Sometimes you see an embroidery project that blows you away. The Red Dress project - conceived and developed by British artist Kirstie MacLeod - is one of those.

Just look at this beauty!


Over the span of 12 years, the Red Dress was stitched by 264 embroiderers (259 women and 5 men) in 29 countries.

Many contributors were experienced embroiderers; others were first-timers; but all were encouraged to share their cultural, traditional, and personal experiences through the medium of needle and thread. 

The result is a masterpiece, representing the individual stories of each person involved - ranging from refugees and victims of war from Palestine, Kosovo, DR Congo, and Rwanda, to established embroidery studios in the UK, India, and Saudi Arabia. Since contributing pieces to the dress, many of the women involved are using embroidery to earn a living and rebuild their lives . Starting as a project looking at identity, as the Red Dress grew it came to symbolise communication across borders, and a platform for unheard voices.

There are plans to exhibit The Red Dress worldwide until 2025 - including a 4 month stint in the Fashion and Textiles museum in London (wouldn’t it be incredible to see this in real life?!)

The Red Dress website has a wealth of information, including profiles of each person or organisation who had a hand in this project - plus a map of artisans to explore. 

Check it out - it’s well worth a look! 

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