Chloe Savage trained as a hand embroiderer at the Ecole Lesage in Paris and the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace. Her work has featured on international catwalks with couture houses as well as in prestigious restoration projects. She now also enjoys teaching hand embroidery at her studio in Clifton, Bristol.
Chloe Savage is a gifted textile artist and embroider based in Bristol. Trained by the best in the industry, Chloe’s work embodies traditional skills used in fine tapestries and haute couture, with contemporary design that is helping to change the face of embroidery as a whole.
Always a natural with a needle and a thread, her first debut came at age ten, when she interviewed for secondary school in a dress she had made for herself. Her mother, a trained fashion designer and couturier had taught Chloe from a young age how to create and she had put it to good use.
Chloe continued with dressmaking, embroidery and quilting, however initially followed her talents in the sciences into teaching; becoming the deputy head of department for a girls’ school in Bath.
A move to New Jersey with her husband and their children was a catalyst for change. She had the choice to continue teaching or find something that would give her more time with her family. Her inherent, creative flair and affinity with textiles led her back to embroidery.
Never shy of a challenge Chloe enrolled in Ecole Lesage, the training ground for la Maison Lesage, celebrated for creating opulent embroidery for couture and Ready-to-Wear since 1924.
Chloe trained in techniques mastered over centuries and with embroidery now enjoying a huge revival in the fashion industry, Chloe learnt in the thick of it.
With relatively few accomplished in the art, any student worth their thread, beads and sequins was brought across to Lesage to work on couture pieces. Here, Chloe had the privilege of working with the best of the best, helping to transform beautiful clothing into highly coveted and unique garments for several design houses, including Chanel.
With a return to the UK, Chloe continued her training with the Royal School of Needlework, internationally renowned for its excellence in the art of embroidery; with them she continued working on prestigious commissions for prominent clients.
Highly respected as a skilled embroiderer, Chloe is currently part of the textile conservation team at the National Trust’s Tyntesfield, responsible for the entire textile collection of some 40,000 pieces. The Victorian Gothic revival house is open to the public daily and you can often see Chloe and the team assessing, cleaning and conserving items from curtains to beautifully ornate court dresses.
Embroidery has its roots in the past, however firmly in the present Chloe is emerging as a contemporary artist in her own right.
Chloe regularly exhibits with the Royal School of Needlework and Royal Academy of the West of England and has contributed works to popular fashion events including Men’s Fashion Week. She has also shown her work as a standalone artist at local, national and international exhibitions including Contextile in Portugal.
Becoming known internationally, Chloe has been shortlisted for competitions including Art Scene Today’s ‘Stitch in Time’ event in New York, which focussed on how current textile artists are challenging old traditions.
Demand for Chloe’s work is growing, with commissions from both the UK and oversees. With this she has been fortunate enough to create pieces for prestigious families and for Hollywood A-listers like Daniel Craig.
Chloe’s style is intricately quirky, inspired by nature, history and fashion. The subjects she captures in thread are not typical of traditional embroidery. Sometimes provocative, often playful and always beautifully executed, Chloe’s work is helping to move the artform away from the Jam and Jerusalem backdrop that it has been habitually associated and towards fine art status.
As a textile artist, this is a big part of the challenge. With her peers Chloe is diligently working on both a national and international level to promote the art and profession and to raise the bar on embroidery.
One of the initiatives that Chloe is very much a part of is the Campaign for Creativity. It petitions the UK Government to return subjects like woodwork and textiles to the school curriculum so that all children can benefit. Education and teaching are close to Chloe’s heart and she believes that creative subjects are key to promoting creative thinking, paramount for success across all industries and not just the arts. With first-hand experience of the changing landscape of education, Chloe has significant insight and drive to see the current curriculum reformed.
Needlework and embroidery is an endangered artform, with a huge shortage of embroiderers in haute couture for instance. Fortunate enough to train, work and be mentored by leaders in the industry, including Karen Nicol, Chloe is currently ramping up her efforts to encourage others into the field. Flamboyantly dressed in beautifully embroidered Victorian attire, Chloe will soon be launching a range of beginners’ classes in textiles at Stoke Lodge and Tyntesfield.
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