I came across the embroidered designs of Daisy Sheldon at the Most Curious Wedding Fair in March this year. I felt I could identify with her beautifully light and delicate patterns and her airy colour palette. Daisy works from her studio in the Cotswolds using traditional embroidery techniques and exquisite fabrics, specialising in bespoke bridal and lingerie pieces. Since graduating from Manchester School of Art she has provided a bespoke service and worked with various renowned designers and companies, such as Phillipa Lepley Bridal Couture, Karen Nicol and the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Daisy kindly answered some of my questions about her business, inspirations and aspirations for the future,
“My workspace is usually tidy (tidy home, tidy mind!) which I find helps me be creative and produce ideas, like a blank canvas! I come from a family of collectors and we have always surrounded ourselves with an eclectic cabinet of curiosities. So my workspace is full of vintage object trouves and textiles, from vintage sewing ephemera lined up along the top of my fireplace to old tins on shelves and letterpress trays hung on the walls, housing all of my embroidery threads.”
“I love health, fitness and wellbeing. So I usually go to the gym most mornings before I start work to do a workout session, which makes me feel energised and sets me up for the working day. I also cant live without my breakfast of homemade green juice and porridge topped with berries! Then the first thing I do in the studio is check and repond to my emails and consult my diary with the list of things to be done for the day. I love a to do list, ticking things off is the best feeling!”
“I guess the hardest part is that you run everything yourself and self teach along the way. So you need to put lots of different hats on, from accounting, to dealing with customers and being creative and designing. As a creative, things like numbers and accounting don’t come very naturally to me. But it has made me learn so much and I feel I have gained skills I didn’t have previously, which has made me grow as more of a rounded person.”
“My most recent success has been working for Walt Disney on their Hamberg, Sydney and London productions for their new stage show Aladdin. It has been hugely exciting and quite a contrast to the usual delicate lace I make – I used over 100,000 metres of gold thread to create the bold cording embroidery for the jackets, boleros and harem trousers for the characters in the show. It was a really thrilling project and hugely rewarding going to see the show in London and see all of the hard work that all those involved had put into the set, costumes and acting. A truly magical experience!”
“I am passionate about British design and production and strive to source materials locally and from around the UK. It is of huge importance to me that the products are made here in Britain, valuing British craftsmanship and traditional techniques. I use old, specialist embroidery machines, including the Cornely, a beautiful 1920’s machine which creates a decorative chain stitch and the Irish, a freehand embroidery machine which ‘draws’ with stitch, as well as embellishing with hand stitching and beading. I am proud of carrying the banner for a craft that could creep into decline and keeping alive British craftsmanship.”
“My most important value would be kindness. It costs nothing to show this to any human or animal. I adore this quote by Etienne de Grellet,
“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
“I am a huge fan of old and vintage things. I adore wearing vintage pieces, such as old embroidered belts, silk scarves and 1920’s beaded bags, I feel they add something special and unique to any outfit.
The space around me is full of what my family call ‘Piff Paff’ with vintage hand painted lucite boxes, victorian wedding gifts and small, glass fronted cupboards housing fawn figurines; mostly objects with no function or particular value, but are aesthetically pleasing. I follow a plant based diet, so love being creative with cooking and trying out of the ordinary ingredients and finding new ways of doing things. Some of my favourite dishes include ‘Nice cream’ made from frozen bananas, yummy chocolate desserts made from tofu and cakes using sweet potatoes or avocados!”
“I am a perfectionist, so I always strive to improve and better myself, which I find motivates me. I am lucky, because I adore my job and it never feels like work, so I always wake up excited to get on with the day ahead. Natural forms are a huge inspiration. My father is a keen gardener and plants beautiful displays of flowers in the garden. I love examining the flowers, the form of their petals or the way a stem grows. My surroundings and collection of old and vintage things are like a museum archive of inspiration to me. I often look at my Japanese art books and old textiles I have collected, as well as visiting museums and galleries. As a result, I feel my work encapsulates vintage inspiration with contemporary design.”
“I love scouring flea markets and vintage fairs for treasures. I love visiting new places and experiencing different cultures. Seeing my friends and family – they are hugely important to me and going for adventures on my vintage style shopper bike!”
“I aspire to have created collections of wedding veils that really explore the boundaries of conventional bridal wear and are more like wearing a piece of art. I hope to extend this onto clothing and create embellished dresses that each tell their own story.”
“My advice is to find your unique style, experiment and try new and different ways of doing things. Something that really resonated with me was an amazing book called ‘What Do You Do with an Idea?’ by Kobi Yamada. It tells the story of a brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. Perfect for anyone who has ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. A must read!”
See more of Daisy’s creations here: