2012 - 365 Days of Stitching

A look back on the year

2012 – A year of sporting greatness, majesty, revelry, prosperity and…embroidery. Well ok, maybe the last part mainly applies to all of us at Hand & Lock, but we’ve had such an exciting time we just had to share some highlights of our work this year. From the Olympic closing ceremony and Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee to our very own fashion show, our embroidery has been exposed across the globe for all to see.

We’ll start with one of the biggest moments of the year for us; our commission to produce the embroidery for Her Majesty’s Royal Barge at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We were honoured to be chosen to embroider the thrones and banners on the barge, of which Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry travelled down the Thames on. Although it’s not unusual for us to be commissioned by Royalty, it’s certainly a reason for jubilation when our work is being displayed live to millions around the world. It was a feeling that we won’t forget for a while to come.

With so much going on right on our doorstep last year, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with some of the biggest stars in the world to create some stunning embroidery. Hand & Lock produced a flamboyant jacket for Brian May’s eclectic performance with Jessie J at the Olympic closing ceremony. Sir Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams also had military jackets embroidered by us for their shows at the Diamond Jubilee Concert. Additionally, we produced a swarovski crystal encrusted union jack hoodie for UK hip hop artist Wretch 32 for his performance at the Hackney Big weekend. We like to think it made him stand out.

Wretch 32, Robbie Williams and Sir Paul McCartney – showing what embroidery can do

Hand & Lock also produced some of the proudest work we’ve ever done, the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Diamond Jubilee robe. The first of it’s kind in over a century, it took 4 weeks to create the golden ornaments alone. The robe went on to be featured at the Civic service in Wesminster Abbey where it receieved much adulation from spectators and fellow mayors alike.

Angela Harvey – Lord Mayor of Wesminster

We also forged some dazzling Swarovski crystal encrusted bras for Moonwalk 2012, an initiative that aims to raise awareness for breast cancer, modelled by these lovely ladies below.

Jennifer Saunders – raising eyebrows and awareness

Coinciding with a year of change – we refurbished our studio and filled it with all manners of beads, books and wonderful adornments. Our website also underwent a radical overhaul, filled with tonnes of pictures from our extensive archive and is being updated all the time!

Our refurbished studio!

We also embroidered a flag for the most decorated British Olympian of all time, Sir Chris Hoy, to carry for Team GB at the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.  The London Olypmics were a busy time for us!

Winner of 6 Olympic Golds and 11 time world champion – Sir Chris Hoy

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands re-opened the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, which had undergone a multi-million pound renovation, in company of a hand embroidered banner made by us at Hand & Lock.

Yes, the building does look like a bathtub.

Hand & Lock also  had the privilege of working with a number of fashion designers over the course of the year –Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney and Olivia Von Halle to name a few. We were also honoured to be mentioned in leading fashion publications Marie Claire and Vogue.

Our embroidery in Marie Claire

Last but not least, we hosted our annual favourite moment of the year – The Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery Design at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, London. The 2012 prize was open to all students working toward a degree in fashion, textiles or the creative arts. What made the show especially unique was a showcasing of Hand & Lock’s very own collection – Association d’Ermites, created by our in-house designers. The show was great fun, with some stunning embroidery designs on display from our 12 finalists. Both the attendees and judges were allowed to have their say in the winning garment, a first for the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery Design.

The winner of the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery design – Lilla Balazs

Fashion industy luminary Zandra Rhodes admiring the Lord Mayor of Westminster’s Diamond Jubilee Robe

So those are just some of the highlights of our year at Hand & Lock. We’re expecting 2013 to be even bigger, especially with the re-introduction of the open category for the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery Design, meaning that anyone with the passion and flair for embroidery can enter. We already have some exciting new projects underway so don’t forget to like us on facebook and to keep up with all the new developments, news and stories from the world of embroidery, fashion and textiles.

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