The Red Dress
Syndicated from, Apr 15, 2023


The Red Dress is a multi-year, award-winning, global, collaborative embroidery project. It was conceived by British textile artist Kirstie Macleod, who began the Red Dress in 2009. Initially exhibiting the dress as an installation, Macleod sat in a clear cube wearing the dress and working on its embroidery. Over the next 14 years pieces of the dress traveled across the globe, and were continuously embroidered on by different hands. It has been worked on by 365 women, 7 men and 2 non-binary artists from 50 countries, as well as audience members in cities where the dress has been exhibited. In the process The Red Dress has become an astonishing medium of expression for women across the world, many who are living in war-torn countries, in vulnerable circumstances of poverty, or as refugees. It is their feelings, stories and dreams that have been embroidered into the material. This short film shares the stunning story of the Red Dress, and what it means to some of its co-creators.

This film is an accompaniment to the Red Dress as it travels across the world to exhibitions, to be screened alongside the Red Dress itself.

Since 2009 artist Kirstie Macleod has been engaging artisans from around the world to contribute their political, cultural and personal stories to The Red Dress.

Now a new journey begins as Kirstie and the Dress travel from the cold lights of the gallery to the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico, meeting two of the women who have contributed to it. Very few of the embroiderers have seen the dress fully assembled and Kirstie has yet to met many of them, until now.


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