Josemieke has been working with textiles all her life. Working with wool has always made her happy. In her own eyes, however, it always remained informal. People appreciated what she made, but she did not dare to give it the predicate ‘mature’ or ‘professional’. Would she succeed in making the step towards her dream: being a creative professional?
Year Programme Broderie d’Art
In 2019-2020, Josemieke followed the Year Programme Broderie d’Art at Dutch Couture Academy. A part-time training in haute couture embroidery techniques, with the aim of finding a professional approach that suits you.
Josemieke: “It could not go fast enough for me. I absorbed the new techniques like a thirsty sponge. And soon I noticed the relevance of what I had learned in practice. For example, I visited the “LACE” exhibition at the Textielmuseum in Tilburg. Suddenly, I was able to analyse the embroidery I saw there. This triggered me enormously to develop further in this field.”
What I noticed in Josemieke was that her affinity with textiles is great. Especially working with wool. Every day of class she came up with surprising examples; all kinds of things she had made in the previous weeks that had been inspired by the course material. She made these examples of her own in addition to the normal assignments. A surprising power of action! Which also inspired others. She effortlessly combined materials and techniques. Based on her own sense of style, the results were especially expressive, colourful and grand.
Stay close to yourself
Josemieke’s first embroidery design was the Brabant poffert: a headdress from the traditional costume of Brabant, which she has given her own twist for years during carnival in ‘s Hertogenbosch. Now, the Brabant poffert is not immediately associated with haute couture embroidery. The strong point of this story is the personal connection with the idea, and the creative elaboration of the techniques that Josemieke learned during the year-long programme. From the basis of the pattern, a very personal design emerged in a totally different colour scheme than usual.
Now, haute couture embroidery is not immediately characterised as grand and dramatic. It is rather detailed, refined and full of tiny details. How did you like that? “To my great surprise, I did just fine. Ten years ago, I would not have had the patience for that,” says Josemieke.
In the meantime Josemieke has started her own hat making business, in which she applies all the learned skills from the year programme: embroidery techniques, design principles, the use of social media and developing her own, creative, signature.
And yes: without the year programme she would never have taken this step. It gave her the confidence that it does not have to remain a dream, but can lead to an actual plan!
Follow Josemieke here.
The programme of workshops, master classes and training courses at Dutch Couture Academy is aimed at (prospective) professionals in the fashion industry who are looking for an opportunity to specialise in couture techniques. Enthusiastic amateurs are also very welcome! In the courses, a balance is sought between technique and inspiration, between knowledge and skill and artistic expression. Discovering one’s own handwriting is seen as crucial to the distinctive craftsmanship of each course participant.