Rachel Gaffney’s Letter From Texas - Dressing The First Lady

The famous foodie who’s flying the tricolour for us in Texas looks beyond the food world, to a different craft - and shares a proud connection between Ireland and the new First Lady’s beautiful outfit at the US Presidential Inauguration

The Texas Bluebonnet, the Indian Blanket, the Wild Prairie Rose and the Yucca are just four of the fifty U.S Sate flowers, embroidered on the sumptuous white cashmere coat and dress worn by the new First Lady of the United States, Dr Jill Biden.

Designed by Gabriela Hearst, she assembled some of the most talented people in the garment district in New York to create this memorable ensemble. Among them, was Irish woman, Laura Weber, founder of LW Pearl Atelier.

Laura was born and raised in Dublin and moved to New York in 2013. Rosaleen McMeel, Editor writer and brand consultant, introduced Laura to my viewers on the latest episode of Rachel Gaffney’s Real Ireland, ‘New and emerging Contemporary Irish Talent’. She shared imagery of her work for designers such as Thom Browne, March Jacobs and Dolce & Gabanna.

Laura opened her own Atelier, focusing on both hand and machine embellishment. Designers and brands bring their concepts to Laura. Laura breathes life into these concepts and together with her team they will suggest the technology to bring that product to fruition.

Gabriela Hearst sought out Laura for an historic project. To embroider 50 state flowers on the hem of the First Lady’s cashmere coat, organza sleeves and neckline of her dress and on her much admired face mask. The peach blossom is the state flower for Delaware and it was this flower that took pride of place on the mask.

Neatly embroidered inside her coat was the quote from Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”

Dr Biden’s inaugural outfit has garnered world wide attention and rightly so, but it does seem to me from observing activity on social media platforms that the crafting community is alive with excitement for embroidery. Quilters, knitters and crocheters are all sharing the imagery, researching cross stitch and ordering needles and threads online.

The pandemic has lured people back in to their kitchens, seen the return of jigsaw puzzles and board games, roller skating and knitting. I wonder will we see an embroidery movement online?

Would you like to learn more about Laura’s process? Maybe you would like to ask her a question about this process? Laura will be joining me for a half hour in the next episode of Rachel Gaffney’s Real Ireland, ‘Dressing The First Lady’ on Tuesday, February 16, 7pm Irish time. It will air on my YouTube Channel, Facebook Live and Twitter. Links are provided below.

Join in live to watch, listen and ask questions.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjRxGHR3XqZObhylQ-5txHw
https://www.facebook.com/events/269237344549531/
https://twitter.com/Rachelgaffney
Dressing The First Lady


 

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