How do you judge the finalists and winners of an international embroidery competition? It’s no easy task, first you need to find specialists with embroidery and design expertise, a discerning eye and a passion for emerging design. These individuals must become intimately familiar with the specially written brief and consider each entrant’s embroidery based on their interpretation of the brief and their creative and technical talents.
Our 2023 judging panel is comprised of educators, practitioners and specialists from every sphere of the embroidery universe. They consider the work in progress at the first stage to determine our finalists, and again at the live prize-giving where they judge the completed embroideries. At the live final our judges also have the opportunity to review supporting research materials to form a comprehensive understanding.
Judges might also talk to finalists about their submissions to interrogate techniques, influences and gain a clear understanding of how they arrived at their exhibited work.
Esme Young is an English fashion designer and television presenter. She has made costumes for many films including The Beach, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and Trainspotting. She had also worked for different editorial adverts. Some of the high profile campaigns she has worked for include: Tia Maria (with Iman), Levi’s, Boots No 7, Marlborough, De Beers, Pretty Polly tights, Max Factor, Yardley and Rimmel. She has also been a part of an individual commission for Phil Collins, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Cher and Jane Asher. Since 2016, Young has been a judge on The Great British Sewing Bee.
Anthea Godfrey is the current Artistic Director of the Embroiderer’s Guild and a highly experienced embroiderer and educator. Previous positions have included Principal Lecturer at the London College of Fashion, and Principal of The International School of Creative Arts, London. As a lecturer, she has been invited to speak in France, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Japan and Kenya. She also has been an examiner for ‘O’ and ‘A’ level, City and Guilds Creative Studies, Diploma in Foundation studies and B.A. Hons Embroidery.
Jenny King has an established embroidery studio in Brighton that has been producing high end embroidery for Fashion, theatre, film , interiors and Art for over 20 years . Her studio specialises in the craftsmanship of freehand satin stitch embroidery created on “Irish” Singer 107 machines.
The studio’s luxury fashion brand clients include Erdem, Aspinal of London, Mary Katrantzou, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford, Roksanda, J W Anderson and Olivia Von Halle. As well as developing embroidery for clients in the fashion industry the studio also works with a number of Theatre, film and costume designers including Royal Opera House, Shakespeare’s Globe, Royal Shakespeare Company and many West End theatre productions.
The studio’s recent bespoke highlights include collaborating with Suzanna London to create the Duchess of Edinburgh’s Coronation gown As well as Sam Ryder’s epic Eurovision Song Contest jumpsuit for stylist Luke Day.
Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery, took up cross stitching fifteen years ago and he’s never looked back.
Since establishing the Mr X Stitch website in 2008, he has been showcasing new talent in the world of textiles and stitch and has curated a number of stitch-based exhibitions in the UK and Ireland. Jamie is the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017.
Jamie is an active leader in the online stitch community and what he has dubbed ‘the new embroidery movement’ and is active on various social networking platforms. He loves introducing new people to the benefits of embroidery from a creative and wellbeing standpoint and is proud to be an ambassador for this ubiquitous craft.
Cornelia Parker OBE is one of Britain’s best loved and most acclaimed contemporary artists. Always driven by curiosity, she reconfigures domestic objects to question our relationship with the world. Using transformation, playfulness and storytelling, she engages with important issues of our time, be it violence, ecology or human rights.
A major retrospective of her work opens at Tate Britain in May 2022.
Anna Murphy joined The Times as Fashion Director in 2015, having been the launch editor of Stella at The Sunday Telegraph. She has interviewed the industry’s biggest names and done everything from wearing a frock made of bin bags to attempting the Angelina leg pop. Her new book Destination Fabulous: Finding Your Way to the Best You Yet interweaves her belief in fashion and beauty as a means of empowerment with advice on everything from work to relationships.
Polly Leonard launched Selvedge in 2004 to celebrate our cerebral and sensual addiction to cloth whilst promoting skillfully made and carefully considered textiles. Polly has fallen increasingly in love with textiles in every issue, enamoured by the stories and lives of the talented makers they feature. These stories, told through the magazine pages, acknowledge the significance of textiles as a part of everyone’s story. She believes that the most exciting and evocative textile stories deserve to be shown in the best possible light and aspire to create an aesthetically beautiful experience.
As a continuation of the conversations that start on the magazine pages, Selvedge produces a podcast, newsletter, blog and inspirational Instagram feed – featuring artisans, adventures and opinions. These avenues are a meeting point for our community and an entry point into the world of textiles for those looking for an original and broadening perspective. Our tours, socials and workshops extend the opportunity to share knowledge and develop skills.
In the pages of Selvedge, it has been Polly’s privilege to present textiles differently and, in that difference – so much a part of the magazine’s aesthetics – to find beauty.
The man behind the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery. Alastair Macleod, chairman of Hand & Lock, established the Prize for Embroidery in 2000 to promote and encourage art of embroidery. It is now a global competition for aspiring embroidery students and designers, giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents and gain vital exposure and experience.