Getting personal: 3 embroidery artists you need to know
One stitch at a time
1. BLISS AND MISCHIEF
Who's behind it: Michigan native Hillary Justin grew up exploring local antique malls, digging among New Orleans' vintage shops and admiring her Westernwear enthusiast Uncle Phil. She eventually relocated to Los Angeles and co-founded a viral vintage business, Just Say Native before finally starting her own line, Bliss and Mischief.
What's the story: Aside from her uncle, Justin took inspiration from the sun bled shades of Joshua Tree and vivid embroidered details of classic Western kitsch. She instills this warm spirit into Bliss and Mischief, offering original customs to handmade chain-stitch designs executed on vintage stock and fabrics. Each piece is one of a kind with its unique character, wear and wash.
What to get: The cropped vintage Levi's 501s with intricate wild flower embroidery or their Moda Operandi-exclusive white corduroy jacket.
Where to follow: @blissandmischief
Shop Bliss and Mischief
2. JAMES MERRY
Who's behind it: Björk is a full-blown fan of him since 2009. And well, why not? James Merry created the Icelandic pop queen's embroidered moth-goth masks, of which seemed to be willingly glued on her face throughout her tours. In 2012, Merry's illustration tome of swirling plants fused with structures in human bodies, Anatomies, put the artist on the map.
What's the story: The artist's fervour for intricate botany blossomed into an intimate collaboration with e-tailer Opening Ceremony: Sporticulture, a series of florcore — half floral, half normcore — sweatshirts with familiar athletic logos stitched with flowers, vegetables and vines around them (his glacier flower embroidered on the Nike swoosh has made endless rounds in the Tumblr-verse).
What to get: Keep your eyes peeled, you might just find Opening Ceremony's one-off sweatshirt on e-Bay. But if the odds aren't in your favour, Merry is poised to launch his own online shop anytime soon.
Where to follow: @j.t.merry
Check back here for James Merry's e-shop launch
3. LOCKHART EMBROIDERY
Who's behind it: Juggling between bartending in a downtown New York City restaurant and fulfilling her sewing obsession, Marie Sophie Lockhart first got Good for Nothing Embroidery (the name comes from the French phrase 'bon à rien', which is how her mother felt about her pursuing a career in fashion) up and running in 2015 before renaming it to her namesake, Lockhart Embroidery.
What's the story: Lockhart's brilliant knack for raunch-in-jest packs a punch and garners double-taps aplenty. The folk embroidery artist gets it from the things she loves — more often than not, the '70s and her tattoo-artist husband — until finally, it seized the attention of Drake and Marc Jacobs. The rapper Instagrammed a pair of her jeans with the OVO clasped prayer symbol on a left back pocket and a spring/summer 2016 Marc Jacobs bag sported her handiwork. Queen Bey, RiRi and Miley Cyrus followed suit as loyal clienteles. And the rest is history.
What to get: It wouldn't get cheekier than Lockhart's collaboration with Merica Lee that has the designer's high-waisted bell-bottoms rain the sweetest cherries on the derrière. And as all Lockhart's other pieces, these would be the only cherry-raining pair in the world.
Where to follow: @lockhartembroidery
Shop Lockhart Embroidery