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Royal College of Needlework Awards 2018

Introducing a series of informal chats between Didy Graham, and the society’s Awardees.

For many years, The Society has given support to young people while they are in professional training, Didy Graham discusses how the award has helped the Awardees study’s, with accompanying images by our Knight Photographer.


Lizzie Lowe and Louise Hurdiss

Visiting the two awardees at the Royal College of Needlework certainly brightened a grey march morning, The knights have 2 awardees at the RCN Lizze Lowe a 3rd year student and Louise Hurdiss a 2nd year student. We were greeted by our two very excited awardees, excited not just due to the fact that they were able to give the Knights some details of their studies, and how the Knights’ contributions have helped them, but also due to the fact that the fabled men’s’ fashion designer Patrick Grant was also visiting that day. We chose the wonderful setting of the College’s Library to sit and chat to our two students, Lizzie Lowe explained that she first started to get involved in needlework whilst studying textiles at GCSE level, always interested in crafts at a young age Lizzie’s tutor recognised her talents and encouraged her to study needlework to A level, so she picked her college based on their textiles department. At the same time she also studied physiotherapy, but finally chose textiles as her main subject, which led her to joining the Royal College of Needlework. Always having a strong interest in fashion Lizzie was able to draw on her experience of textiles toward her chosen subject of Male Fashion design. Whilst at the school Lizzie had the opportunity of doing some freelance design for Alexander McQueen, the British fashion designer who has the reputation in the fashion world as an expert in creating an impeccably tailored look. Lizzie is also collaborating with Stewart & Christies in Edinburgh who have indicated a future willingness to work with Lizzie on men’s fashion. Talking about how the Knights’ award has helped her studies, Lizzie was enthusiastic in detailing all of the additional books she was able to purchase for her studies along with the very expensive gold thread needed for the goldwork technique she’s integrating in her current designs. Wishing Lizzie all of the very best for the future we then chatted to Louise Hurdiss, a second year student at the Royal College of Needlework, Louise similarly came into the profession of fashion and design at school with surface print textiles, looking at different university’s led Louise to apply to the RSN having established that the college has the best connections with top designers and fashion professionals. Louise forte is intricate hand embroidery which she has studied and has created most impressive items in the first two years of her course. The Knights’ award helped Louise to travel to Paris over the last Christmas break to visit the Dior exhibition, and the Yves St Laurent house and studios. These visits were very inspirational to her studies. The impression that both of these very talented young ladies left us with were great enthusiasm for the industry that they wished to devote themselves to, along with their obvious talent and impressive skills.


Awardee Lizzie Lowe who is in her final year at the RCN

Louise Hurdiss as second year student at the RCN

Didy with Lizzie and Louise

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