Talk - Justine Bonenfant: The Journey of a Haute Couture Embroidery. Polly Kenny: Translating Tradition


Hand & Lock

SKU: 128664

Date: Sunday 7th November 2021

Time:  3pm-4.30pm

Location: Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, South Bank, London SE1 9PH

This talk will be led by two of Hand & Lock's Prize for Embroidery Judges, Justine Bonenfant and Polly Kenny.

Justine Bonenfant: The Journey of a Haute Couture Embroidery

During this talk from Justine Bonenfant, you will be introduced to all the steps involved to create an Haute Couture embroidery, from concept to catwalk and delivery to client. You will have an insight into the fascinating daily life in a hand-embroidery atelier and get to discover how centuries-old techniques are being used to create contemporary designs.

Polly Kenny: Translating Tradition
Polly Kenny will use the work of students, staff, and projects at the London College of Fashion to illustrate approaches to using the archive to inspire contemporary fashion embroidery. Embroidery was one of the college’s founding courses, over 100 years ago, and through development to their current course has resulted in successful entries to previous Hand & Lock competitions, with their alumni at the leading edge of the industry.
Traditional processes and archival sources can be used as a springboard for design research, inspire solely digital translations or can be used in combinations with hand process to create beautiful embellishment.

This talk will allow you access to the exhibition on the date of the talk, however will only allow a one time entry. 

 Justine Bonenfant graduated in Fashion Design at ESMOD Roubaix, before building on her Haute Couture skills at Lesage School in Paris. In 2015 she was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust Apprenticeship, to learn Goldwork at Hand & Lock. Justine has experience as a high-end hand embroiderer and design consultant participating in Paris Haute Couture Week and London Fashion Week. She has worked for Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Dolce and Gabbana and Burberry. For the last two years, Justine has been in charge of the technical process at Vastrakala, the Indian based embroidery company owned by Jean-Francois Lesage.


Polly Kenny is the Programme Director Materials London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London with 40 years of teaching experience in embroidery. Her pedagogic research embraces the development of digital resources whilst practice-based research explores traditional embroidery with new technologies. Exhibited work includes in ‘Making research: Researching Making’ conference, University Aarhus, ‘Mind and Body’ and ‘Uncovering the Surface’ conferences USA, ‘Suave 2’, Spain, ‘Modular’ 5th International Design Biennial, Russia and ‘Square-Carre-Cuadrado’, 3rd International Biennial’, Women in Textiles Art, Venezuela.

The event is open from Wednesday 3rd Nov - Sunday 7th November

11am-6pm daily

(Thurs closed from 5pm)

Bargehouse is partially accessible. The venue has two disabled toilets and a STANNAH stair-lift which provides access for wheelchair users to the first and second floors only. The stair-lift is for standard manual wheelchairs and cannot be used with motorised chairs or scooters.

Talks will be held on the third floor with no disabled access.

For more information please visit Access Able: