Aimee Betts is fashion designer from London who since graduating from the Royal College of Art London in 2010 has been making a name for herself on the fashion scene.
Using embroidery technique Betts creates elaborate statement accessories that can perfectly liven up even the most bland of outfits.
Due to appear at the UK Young Artists showcase in Nottingham this month we decided to catch up with the designer and learn a little more about her…
Where do you live?
I live in Forest Hill, South East London and I share a studio in London Bridge. I am originally from Leicestershire, so I’m really looking forward to WEYA as it’s a bit of a Midlands home coming.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a Mixed Media Embroidery Designer and Creator of Adornments. I create and exhibit my own collections, but I also collaborate with fashion designers to create embroidery for garments and accessories.
When did you first find out you had a talent?
I was about 3 or 4 years old when I drew a Lion on my miniature chalk board. My star sign is Leo and I think I must’ve taken it quite literally that I was part of this animal kingdom. Anyway, my mother and dad got a bit confused as they thought one another had drawn it.
What inspires you?
Colour. Materials. Surface. Gold. Happenings. Construction. Coincidences. Mixed-Media. Fabric. Craft. Making. Talking. Biscuits. Sharing. Touch. Humour. Endeavour. Stories. Machines.
What are the tools of your trade?
I work on embroidery frames and hoops of all sizes when I’m stitching onto fabrics ranging from 4″ to 36″. It’s really important to get a good tension in the fabric to create the best work. I use all kinds of needles to stitch as they each function differently, anything from beading needles to tapestry needles. At the moment I’m really into stitching with Pearl Cotton rather than the conventional embroidery threads, and I have a good selection of gold work metal embroidery threads. I like to create my own materials and components using circular knitting machines, laser cutting technology and digital embroidery. A mix of traditional and modern techniques is the most satisfying working method for me.
How did you learn your craft?
I am quite intuitive and tend to learn techniques pretty quickly. I have studied at a BA & MA level, but I feel that most of my learning has come from experience, working with others, and also from studying stitches in embroidery books. I am quite upfront and I’m not afraid to ask for help. I’m constantly researching and seeking out places to go for inspiration. I love trying out new techniques and archiving them. One day I’ll have the most fabulous technical library.
Do you have any notable fans?
Tell us a fact about you that no one knows?
I have double jointed hands, or ‘picky fingers’ as I like to call them. They’re very nimble, which is very useful for hand embroidery.
What else do you have coming up in 2012? Any exhibitions/shows?
Over the last 6 months I have been developing a collection of hand embroideries for a London Fashion Week client which goes down the catwalk on the 15th September. Then I’m showing in the Cookhouse Gallery at Chelsea College of Art & Design where I work P/T at the Stitch Technician. The technical staff have formed a brand new collective called TAT (or Technically Advanced Textiles), where the objective is to showcase our work and hidden talents! (PV 20th Sept. Exhibition: 21st – 27th Sept). Finally I will be presenting a new collection of Adornments at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair on the 4th-7th Oct.