Hawthorne & Heaney does Couture

Hawthorne & Heaney get a lot of exciting projects, but there was one project recently that created a buzz of excitement in the studio.

We were asked to create a hand embroidered dress, onto a lovely red tulle. with a little bit of sparkle thrown in.

Take a look at our progress throughout this exciting project

The dress travelled from Vienna to London and back to Vienna, a special dress for a special occasion.



Hawthorne & Heaney needs you !


As artisans we are drawn to beautiful things.  

The art we work on is a reflection of our taste and dedication.



We asked ourselves why shouldn’t the the luxury we surround ourselves with daily be reflected in the tools of our trade.

As embroiderers, frustrated with hunting through the ever dwlinding treasure trove of vintage and second hand, we decided to create some tools that would be a pleasure to use, collect and admire.

After all the journey is as important as the destination !



The Heaney’s Haberdashery team want you to tell us about the tools you use.  Let us know your favourites and the reasons behind why.  

We are developing some long lost gems and we need your feedback on what tools you would like to see and why.

Sign up to the Newsletter to find out how you can get involved, VIP access to limited edition runs, Early Bird discount codes and updates on our progress.

Follow us on Instagram for a sneak peak on how things are going daily !

Hawthorne & Heaney Monogramming Event for Mission Media

Last week Hawthorne & Heaney could be found at the Victoria’s Secret velentines day lauch, organised by Mission Media. The event was held at the gorgeous Elan Cafe in Knightsbridge which was just the perfect setting for us a glamous and romantic event.

Guests were able to have their Victoria’s Secret robe personalised with their initials as a little memento of the evening…

Images courtsey of @elan_cafe, @alexmiller_elan, and @thisismission

Hawthorne & Heaney Visits the Louise Dahl-Wolfe Exhibiton

The Fashion and Textiles Museum, London, has just opened an exhibition dedicated to Louise Dahl- Wolfe, an American photographer who is credited with modernising fashion photography. The exhibition spans the the whole of the long gallery as well as part of the upper area. It looks at Dahl-Wolfe’s early works and how she defined the image of the post war women. It has over 100 photographs on display which some contain the work from various designers such as Chanel, Balenciaga and Dior.

Located in the long gallery, you must first pass a room on the left which currently has a small display of work from Wallace Sewell, who designed the upholstery fabric for Transport for London, continuing on you walk through a corridor of Dahl-Wolfe’s colour Harper’s Bazaar covers and enter a large open space full of beautifully framed photos. The airiness of the room allows the work to breath and gives you space to enjoy it.

The gallery displays mainly black and white image from Dahl-Wolfe’s career as well as a selection of coloured work. Dahl-Wolfe trained in San Francisco’s Art Institute in 1914, and it was here that she took classes on anatomy, composition and colour theory fundamentals. These proved to aid her later in life when starting out in photography.

Dahl-Wolfe’s first photo to be published, Mrs Ramsey, was in Harper’s Bazaar’s November 1933 issue. Mrs Ramsey was Dahl-Wolfe’s neighbour when her and her husband moved to Tennessee. As with a lot of Dahl-Wolfe’s photos there is an element of calmness about them whilst simultaneously displaying the soul and character of her subject.

Mrs Ramsey,Tennessee-Smokey Mountians,USA,1931

Dahl-Wolfe started working at Harper’s Bazaar from 1936 until 1958. During this time they published 600 coloured photographs, 3,000 black and white images and 86 front covers taken by the artist. During her Hollywood period, 1938-1946,Dahl-Wolfe shot on her Rolleiflex camera using natural lighting and had her models posing outside, providing an alternative to the “clever lighting and retouching”1  that was already apparent within the industry.

Even within the black and white photos Dahl-Wolfe took, the texture and material of the clothing still stood as as one of her key focal points. This was achieved by clever set dressing and good use of composition within the photographs.

Continuing through the exhibition it looks at Dahl-Wolfe’s era within Fashion photography, 1938-1949. When Dahl-Wolfe started, fashion photography was still among its early stages, this meant that there was room to develop and evolve the practice. Took in a variety of settings including Arizona, California Desert, North Africa and Mexico Dahl-Wolfe’s photos erd towards simple compositions that compliment the Dior and Balenciaga dresses.

Dahl-Wolfe had a knack for capturing her subjects unaware and in seemingly natural movements. Mary Jane Russell, who was one of the most successful fashion models of her time, worked with Dahl-Wolfe for over 12 years, producing 8 Bazaar covers and 100’s of editorials and adverts.

The exhibition has a good amount of information spanning Dahl-Wolfe’s early career and through to her retirement as a photographer. It is running from 20th October- 21st January 2018 at the Fashion and Textiles Museum, London. Prices are £9.90 for adults, £7.70 concessions and  £6 for students (Remember your Student ID).

All images and videos courtesy of Charlotte Pearson (@c_textiles) unless otherwise stated.

[1] Louise Dahl-Wolfe- A style of her own, Fashion and Textile Museum. Pamphlet pg.3. 2017.

Hawthorne & Heaney :Dismantling of a Victorian Mourning Shawl


Hawthorne & Heaney was given the Victorian shawl by Sue Thomas from Savile Row bespoke.


In the Victorian era, black was considered the appropriate colour to be worn when mourning the loss of a loved one and in some cultures, this is still the case today. It is believed that the mourning attire was a protection against negative thoughts. By wearing the colour black it also informed family, friends and acquaintances that the wearer had recently lost someone close to them and was a warning not to approach them within this sad period of time. For women, the fashion symbolised the depth of affliction with the colour of clothing indicating the gradual return from black to bold clothing through the hues of purple and violet, this was recognised as the second stage of mourning. The length of time Victorian women wore mourning garments varied on the degree of relationship with the deceased from a week up to a year.


The dismantling of the shawl was a very long process as parts of the shawl was originally constructed using an embroidery technique called tambour beading. Tambour is French for drum and is done by using a hook where the fabric is stretched as tight as a drum. The fabric can be stretched by being sewn onto a rectangular frame or placed in a wooden hoop. The Tambour hook makes a chain stitch in a technical order where it will keep each bead securely in place. If the knot or process of the tambour chain stitch was to be done incorrectly then the whole beadwork would come undone. Depending on your experience using the Tambour technique beads can be secured in place very fast this is why a lot of fashion houses such as Dior are well known for using this technique in order to get garments completed on a tight time schedule. To get each bead loose from the shawl the embroidery stitches were cut allowing the bead to be free. Once all the beads were eventually dismantled from the Victorian shawl they were sorted into bags so all the same beads were neatly secured and measured ready to be used again. Below you are able to see photographs of sections from the shawl being dismantled.


It is very important to Hawthorne & Heaney that the beads are used in another exciting project. This is because of the heritage behind this shawl and the construction that went into the making of it was exquisite. With the shawl being so old it was beginning to fall apart and unable to be restored therefore there was no other option but to take it apart and store the beads safely away until we find a project that will give them a new purpose. We are unsure currently what that project will be but we are sure we will know when the time comes.

Hawthorne & Heaney visit Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Runway through the years #Dior #runway #couture

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

Every now and then, there is an exhibition that we feel we just have to see, and usually one holds out until it (hopefully) comes to London. However the risk of missing out on ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ at Musee Des Arts Decoratifs was one that was too great and we felt compelled to go. So last month, Natasha made the trip to Paris to see the much hyped display.

The exhibition begins with some history about Christian Dior’s family and his life before setting up the house as an art gallery owner and fashion illustrator. A brief introduction to the facets of the house it followed by the first main gallery. In this room, each section is divided by colour, each cabinate displaying a pallette with a variety of dresses, 12” minatures and accessories.

As an embroiderer, one of the most outstanding aspects of this exhibition was the level of detail you could see in the gowns and the emphasis that was placed on showing off the incredible textures. These were reflected in the papercut flowers and foliage that hung from the ceiling in a few of the rooms which were inspired by the fragrances that make up Dior’s famous perfumes.

Some of the textiles could be descibed as quite tradtional beading, whilst others would be considered to be more experimental, playing with feathers and layering but all were undeniably beautiful.

They also had an in house embroiderer demonstrating some tambour beading onto a panel of one of the gown and chatting with the public about what she was doing. The piece was framed up in a large slate frame, with one end complete and, the other drafted on. The drafts and drawings for the piece were hanging to one side of her with a partically completed gown on display behind her. The finished gown was part of the final gallery to put the whole process into context.

Tambour beading demonstration #Dior #tambour #embroidery

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

The white gallery was reminiscent of the layout of the Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A museum in London where you were dwarfed by the pieces, however here the emphasis was placed purely on the cut of the garments. Each one is the toile of a gown we had already seen in the body of the exhibition to explain the development of each piece and the alterations process it has been through to get to the final design.

Floor to ceiling toiles #dior #paris #dressmaking

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

Final last gallery was all the real show stopping gowns, the space itself adds to the gravity of the items on display. They enhanced the experience with moving light displays across the walls which gave the impression of gold snow, unashamedly playing up to the couture fairytale.

Dior: designer of dreams was magical! #paris #fashionexhibition #dior

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

It would be fair to say this exhibition was excellent, going around it all took at least 2 and a half hours going through it all but one could have stayed much longer. The amount of pieces on display and the generous space that was given to each one made it a very leisurely experience. I really enjoyed the way they played with scale in the lay out, starting off the with minatures gallery, then allowing you to get up close with the real sized pieces and then emmersing you in the white and final galleries.

If you would like to read another perspective on the exhibition, have a read of

‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ is on show at Musee Des Arts Decoratifs in Paris until 7th Jan 2018 so catch it while you have the chance!

Hawthorne & Heaney Visits Burberry: Here We Are Exhibition

Last month Burberry held an exhibition of British photography, in celebration of their September 2017 collection at the Old Sessions House which is a Grade II listed building. The exhibition spaned out across three floors in 14 unique rooms and was curated by Christopher Bailey, Alasdair McLellan and Lucy Kumara. The British photography used within the exhibition documents all elements of the British culture, class and clans that form together to create what truly is and makes Great Britain, ‘Great’. We sent our intern, Lauren to the exhibition to find out more.

The 14 rooms were themed sections which break down the exhibition into a sort of narrative story, which helps the visitors to understand the background inspiration behind the Burberry, September 2017 collection. The unique rooms are titled for example, room 5 called ‘Romance’ was based upon the modern attitude towards race, equality and love in all shapes and sizes featuring the iconic photograph ‘Notting Hill Couple (1967)’ by Charlie Phillips. The photograph represents a British woman with a Jamaican-born male:

“Notting Hill was the London destination for many Afro-Caribbean immigrants who arrived in the UK in the immediate post-war period. A severe housing shortage was among the causes of racial tension there throughout the 1950s, and in 1958, the area was marred by race riots. A carnival was held the following year in response, celebrating Black British culture. In the summer of 1966, the first Notting Hill Carnival took place.”


The above information was taken out of the ‘Here We Are’ exhibition guide. The photograph is so beautiful and powerful as it shows how love will always conquer hate in all forms. As a united society we have grown to love one another and is fascinating to discover the history behind the Notting Hill Carnival that is still celebrated today, 51 years later.

The composition of the exhibition as a whole was perfect. The high ceilings and coffered dome allowed natural light to fill the Grade II listed building. The Palladian-style building was constructed in 1779 with a façade of solid Portland stone and columns which was some of the most expensive materials during that period. The building itself celebrates British architecture and could not of been a better fit to compliment the ambience of the exhibition.


Each photograph has carefully been selected and include work from talented photographers such as Dafydd Jones, Brian Griffin, Jane Bown, Jo Spence and many more. In particular the English documentary photographer, Daniel Meadows who lived on a double decker bus for 14 months in 1973-74. During this time he covered 10,000 miles and at each pit stop he photographed the town’s inhabitants, in total he took portraits of over 1000 individuals. My favourite portrait has to be of the 12 year old boy, John Payne with his pigeon, Chequer. Once again this photographer has captured a timeless moment of British culture, simply 3 young boys who would capture and race pigeons as a form of entertainment which in that time was a normal thing however it also makes you realise how much generations have evolved and adapted to the ever-growing nature of society who would now see this form of entertainment as cruelty to animals and morally wrong.

For us, our favourite garment of the September 2017 collection has to be the green lace applique dress, it is beautifully elegant and also comes in an option of pink too. It is clear how ‘The Garden As a Self-Portrait’ themed room has influenced the design of this garment. The ‘Here We Are’ exhibition is a tribute to the history of Britain, celebrating our culture from past to present day.




By Lauren Stewart September 2017

Hawthorne & Heaney at the Brighton Speed Trials 2017

Here at H&H we thought you may appreciate a little reminder of the summer to ease the transition.
A few of us at Hawthorne & Heaney are quite keen on or cars which may have been alluded to recently by the appearance of the Heaney Motors Ford Galaxie 500.

H&H were given the opportunity to sponsor this beautiful American muscle car which took part in its first race at the Brighton Speed Trials 2017.
The vintage and muscle car scene is an excellent opportunity for customisation and modification and not with just the cars !

Our driver, with an existing addiction to vintage motor patches, jumped at the chance to have bespoke overalls made. With a vintage American style font to match the car made in a patch for the back (patches are important here so that the integrity of the fire retardant suit is not compromised).

H&H also strayed a little from embroidery and worked together with Kituoutkustoms to create a vintage decal for the car. We sourced some vintage look machine turned light gold vinyl which was cut with a black to create a shadow. The effect worked with the nature of the car and was such a pleasure to work on with the car wrap specialists in Hoddeston.

The race day was the last real day of Summer and was such an enjoyable event. With an eclectic mix of cars both vintage and modern and the Heaney Motors Galaxie certainly stood out in the crowd !

Hawthorne & Heaney Visits Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

When a major fashion exhibtion comes to London, we love to go and see what it is all about and the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion Exhibition currently on at the Victoria and Albert Museum does not disappoint. Based in the fashion and textiles section of the museum, the exhibition goes through from the beginnings of Balenciaga as a brand, through to current designers that Balenciaga has influenced.

Starting downstairs, most of the historical garments and accessories are displayed with accompanying notes and toiles. There are a few pieces which have a video animation next to them of how the pattern goes together to make the garment function which are very informative and really demonstrate the complexity of the designs:

#balenciaga @vamuseum #patterncutting

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

This accompanies the actual garment which it explains as well as a calico toile of the garment. A few pieces from the collection have been x-rayed as can be seen in the back of the next video which shows the many layers that go into a piece like this and the hidden support within some of the ‘simpler’ looking gowns.

@vamuseum #balenciaga #fashion #london

A post shared by Tasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) on

X-ray photograph of silk taffeta evening dress by Cristóbal Balenciaga, 1955, Paris, France. X-ray by Nick Veasey, 2016. © Nick Veasey

They have a section which is dedicated to the fabric choices and embroideries used in some of the historical Balenciaga pieces. These include a wonderfully rich example of silk shading on a gown with an impossibly tiny waist and a very decadent textured jacket. The base embroidery of the jacket is demonstrated by an embroiderer from Paris based embroiderers Lesage recreating the design. See below for a snippet of the tambour beading over long silk stitching.

Wild silk evening dress (detail), Cristóbal Balenciaga with embroidery by Lesage, 1960 – 2, Paris, France. Museum no. T.27-1974. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Going through the exhibition, the different approaches to each of the pieces are explained as Cristobal Balenciaga applied both tailoring and dressmaking techniques to his pieces. He was know for his surgical precision, often pictured in a lab coat measuring and remeasuring sections. A selection of traditional tailoring tools are displyed including shears, pressing ham, chalk shaving box and tracing wheel.

Cristóbal Balenciaga at work, 1968, Paris, France. Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum PhotosMoving upstairs, the exhibition focuses more on Balenciagas lasting legacy and those he has inspired. Against the dombed ceiling, three videos of current designers such as Mollie Goddard and Gareth Pugh who speak about how Balenciaga has influenced them and their design work. A series of parallels are drawn between contemporary designs and historical Balenciaga pieces such as the below by Hussein Chalayan and Oscar De La Renta which are likened to textured coat and silk work dress previous mentioned.

This exhibition is a well rounded insight into the Balenciaga brand with lots of lovely couture examples and the technical specification to go with them which is interesting for those with and without exisiting fashion knowledge.  Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will be running at the Victoria and Albert Museum‘s Fashion and Textiles Gallery Space (Room 40) until Sunday 18th February 2018 so if you have the opportunity to see it, it is worth the visit. Tickets cost £12.00 and some concessions are available.

All images and videos courtsey of Natasha Searls-Punter (@tashasearlspunter) unless otherwise stated.

Hawthorne & Heaney for Joshua Kane Fantasy

Fashion week is here! We have had the absolute pleasure of working with the one the only Joshua Kane for his Spring Summer 2018 Collection ‘Fantasy’. It is always a delight to see our work come to life on the catwalk, and out there for the world to see!

A close up to show the 3D effect of the tailor,

We are loving the attention to detail, The Tailor on the shoes





My personal favourite is this incredible leather jacket! Raised embroidered sleeves. This really is a dream!

It is safe to say that we are living the fantasy here at Hawthorne and Heaney


Check out the whole collection here Follow Joshua Kane on Instagram, we cannot wait to see what he comes up with next season!