About a week ago while I was browsing online, I stumbled upon images of cross-stitched Vogue covers by UK-based artist, Inge Jacobsen, on British Vogue’s website. I was blown away. This wasn’t just stitchery or crafting – this was artistry.
So I kinda geeked out.
The first craft I really gravitated to as a kid was cross-stitch. At some point in my late teens/college years I dropped the hobby because I was frustrated that all the patterns I could find were too homespun for my taste (this was pre-Internet mind you). I made a couple of my own patterns, mostly monograms (future typography buff!), but absolutely nothing compared to this.
It is so awesome that Inge Jacobsen married a “traditional” women’s craft with high fashion. How rock ‘n roll! So of course I had to find out more about her.
It’s Sew In Vogue
Each cover took more than 50 hours to stitch. Not only that, but Inge stitches right into the cover. No aida fabric or linen here. She makes holes in the paper with the needle first before stitching, to keep from damaging the paper. She explains, “I want the viewer to recognise the obsessiveness of these pieces and gain some understanding and appreciation of the time and effort that was spent on it.”
Not surprisingly, Inge has a fine arts background. While studying photography at Kingston University, she rediscovered cross-stitching, which she learned in elementary school in Denmark. By making a photograph more tactile with stitching and choosing where the emphasis should be, she created a connection between an ancient craft and haute couture. On her website, she writes:
It seems appropriate to be using fashion magazines as women are often objectified within them. There is also a link between the feminine craft of cross stitching and the women’s magazine. I’d like the viewer to see the connection between women’s hobbies from generations ago and the hobbies and past-times of my generation. I can, and have, spent long periods of time reading Vogue magazines just like my grandmother and her sisters spent a long time cross-stitching.
Now Inge is back in the news having just completed a commission for Danish jeweler, Georg Jensen’s ad campaign. Luckily this time she had a little help from some students from the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace. How posh!
For more samples of her work, please visit her website here. I cannot wait to see what she does next.
- Giant Cross-Stitched Supermodel Alert! Freja Beha Erichsen, Embroidered, at Georg Jensen (glamour.com)
- Vogue Gets Stitched Up! (Rags & Retrospect)