THE Royal School of Needlework’s eagerly-anticipated ‘For Worship & Glory II Exhibition’ opens at Ely Cathedral tomorrow (January 27th).

Our GCSE and A Level Fashion Design students are excited to be showcasing their work alongside RSN designers, and a highlight for visitors will be the opportunity to see all twelve panels of the Litany of Loreto.

Kitty Carr-Lake, who is in Year 13 at King’s, is delighted that her striking Issey Miyake-inspired garment, pictured, is featuring in the exhibition. Kitty, who is from the Lincoln area, joined King’s Ely Sixth Form in 2020 and is studying Textile Design, Product Design and Business Studies for her A Levels.

Speaking about her garment, Kitty said: “My inspiration for this was sparked from a workshop I participated in during a school trip to Norwich University of the Arts, led by Laura Spinola. In Laura’s workshop we manipulated different sizes and shapes of paper, which we then attached to a paper bodice. At the end of the workshop, I knew that I wanted to add a structural aspect to my final piece, and after experimenting with folding paper, I wanted to translate it into fabric form.

“This then led to me looking at some of Issey Miyake’s collections, where he manipulates fabrics to create textures for his final garments. I specifically looked at his spring/summer collections in 2017 and 2018. These were inspired by Iceland and Australia, which led to the colour scheme of my garment being blues and burnt oranges. I started the research for this project at the beginning of Year 13 for my Personal Investigation, and all the information I gathered led to my final piece.

“My garment consists of a high-low hem dress with a beaded corset which sits on the top. I incorporated the folding aspect that I experimented with in the workshop to create squares out of recycled plastic bags. I later went on to create textures to sandwich in between two plastic squares, which I infused together with a heat press. The textures include using newspaper, dye, bubble wrap and a range of threads. After the infusion process, I went on to manipulate the squares into the shape I desired and stitched them into shape to ensure they would stay in position. To create further depth to the squares, I laid some on top of each other, positioning them at different angles. Inside the top square of each piece, I used different techniques to create a touch of delicacy and more texture. Once all the squares were made and put together, I hand sewed them onto my dress to create the final outcome. I am very happy with my finished piece.”

When asked what she enjoys most about Textile Design, Kitty said: “I can create a vision in my head and then with a bit of experimentation and tweaking of ideas, that vision can come to life. Part of Textile Design is about telling a story and conveying messages which can sometimes leave a profound impression to the people viewing your pieces. I love the idea of this, so I always try to think outside the box and connect to the viewers by telling a story through my work. I love looking at my final pieces and thinking what I could do next. You will always want the next project to be more innovative and impressive from the last, and once again by just looking at your surroundings, new ideas can be sparked and you find yourself being even more excited to create a more powerful piece than you did before. I love trying to break the limits I never thought were possible by creating even more challenging pieces!”

‘For Worship & Glory II’ is running until March 13th. To book tickets for the exhibition or for more information, please visit:

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