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Alumna Elsa Searle Vincent presents embroidery project to His Majesty the King

29th Dec 2023

During a three-day royal state visit to France, College alumna Elsa Searle Vincent had the opportunity to present some of her work on the CHANEL & The Prince's Foundation Métiers d'Art Embroidery Fellowship to His Majesty the King.

On a recent royal state visit King Charles visited Le 19M, a gallery in the north of Paris, where he met with six graduates, on the Prince’s Foundation embroidery fellowship. One of the graduates, Elsa, is an alumna of Abingdon & Witney College.

Elsa with His Majesty the King

Elsa joined Abingdon & Witney College from a local school in Witney as a Level 2 Art & Design student. Based at the Witney Campus, with guidance from her tutor Natalie, Elsa worked her way up through to Level 3 before progressing to the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace where she gained a 1st in BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery.

Following her degree, Elsa’s University Lecturer let her know about the CHANEL & The Prince's Foundation Métiers d'Art Embroidery Fellowship in partnership with Le19M in Paris. The Fellowship is a residential 24-week specialist embroidery programme, providing students with intensive training opportunities in the field of Embroidery for Haute Couture and the Luxury Fashion Industry.

Elsa secured her place on the Fellowship, which started with a week in Paris training at Ecole Lesage, an embroidery training school. She shortly returned to Highgrove House and Gardens, where all students were given the opportunity to stay and study for the rest of their fellowship. At the recent event, Elsa presented His Majesty the King with a project inspired by the gardens.

“Initially I was struggling to find something to base my project on, but I went to the kitchen garden and saw an old fountain covered in moss. I was inspired to create the texture of the moss in a couture way.”

Reminiscing on her time at College, Elsa shared: “My course was great, I loved it. I was really interested in mixed media and surface embroidery had always piqued my curiosity."

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