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Hand Embroidery graduates create for the silver screen

Two BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art graduates – taught at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) at Hampton Court Palace – have worked as costume embroiders for the 2017 Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express.

Bringing to life the 1930s inspired costumes, designed by Academy Award winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne, Laura Baverstock and Hattie McGill worked on the costumes for the film, which featured an all-star cast including Dame Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp and Kenneth Branagh, who also directed the film.

The work of Laura and Hattie, who both graduated from the course in 2016, can be seen on Dame Judi’s outfit for her role as Princess Dragomiroff, as well as Michelle Pfeiffer’s dress with Syrian-inspired designs, and Marwan Kenzari’s conductor uniform. The monogrammed handkerchief found by Poirot at the murder scene was also the handiwork of Hattie.

The requirement of such precise hand embroidery for film costumes goes to show the level of detail demanded by HD formats in film-making today. 

Hattie McGill has also worked on the Doctor Strange film (2016). She embroidered the cape worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, in twelve different versions owing to the cloak’s own star appeal in the film and comics.

Away from the screen, Laura Baverstock produces bespoke commissions of Raised-Work insects and butterflies. In 2016, Laura became the youngest Trade Freeman admitted to the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers.

Michelle Pfeiffer