The delicate art of hand embroidery is explored in an exquisite new collaboration with 250-year-old Hand & Lock.
Nothing exemplifies craftsmanship quite like embroidery, and nowhere will you find better examples of this time-honoured technique than at Hand & Lock. The British house has been supplying bespoke services to the Royal Family, armed forces, Savile Row tailors and haute couture designers since 1767.
Embroidery might be a traditional practice, but Hand & Lock is at the forefront of modern fashion. Embroidery is also enjoying something of a renaissance on the catwalk, with designers such as Gucci and Stella McCartney falling for its charms in recent collections. 'It was a massive trend last year, and I think it's carrying into next season as well,' agrees Laura Campbell, a designer at Hand & Lock.
Though specialising in goldwork – a traditional technique associated with ceremonial and military regalia – Campbell's style is anything but old fashioned. Her eye is drawn to bright colour and texture, and in her three-and-a-half years at Hand & Lock she has worked with a number of up-and-coming fashion designers.
It is this combination of heritage, tradition and innovation that made Globe-Trotter a natural partner for Hand & Lock's The Embellished Handbag project, which commemorates the house's 250th anniversary – a travelling exhibition of 13 bags donated by world-class designers and embroidered by Hand & Lock to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Having launched with a one-day display at the V&A, the bags will soon leave for Sydney and then Chicago before being auctioned by Sotheby's in December, with all proceeds going to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, of which Globe-Trotter is a patron.
'I think Globe-Trotter worked well in this project because of their aesthetic and also the story behind where the patches came from. I absolutely loved working on it'
Globe-Trotter also happens to be reaching a milestone this year – 2017 marks the company's 120th anniversary. A major new project is the SS17 collection, taking inspiration from a suitcase owned by former air stewardess Hilary Farish in the 1960s, which she adorned with more than 50 stickers collected from her travels. It was these vibrant, unique designs that captured the imagination of both brands for the anniversary project.
'I think Globe-Trotter worked well in this project because of their aesthetic and also the story behind where the patches came from. I absolutely loved working on it,' says Campbell.
The bag chosen for the collaboration was the 'Propeller' overnight in navy pebbled bull leather. Campbell selected the luggage labels she thought would work best in the design, with freedom to interpret as she saw fit.
'We used traditional goldwork but with different materials to update the patches. For one we used Swarovski crystal fabric; there's leather too and different-coloured bullion. The tiger badge [from the now-defunct Sea View Hotel in Singapore] took the longest – I think it took nearly five days to complete.'
Each label was individually hand-embroidered and the result is nothing short of a work of art; effortlessly capturing the glamour of the 1960s in a fun, modern way, as well as the timeless appeal of travel and wanderlust, with a story woven into every stitch.