I’m Milou, the creator of Moody Bright Designs – a project that focuses on embroidery and the upcycling of textiles.
My background is in painting and fine arts. But it was my three years working in the world of vintage fashion that led me to discover my passion for embroidery, fabrics and sewing. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with needle and thread, paint, embroidery traditions whilst also learning to sew. My practice and artistic goals involve the successful mixing of all of these different aspects of art making and sharing. I’m very much interested in exploring different textile collaborations, and have been teaching to spread my curiosity(obsession)for all things embroidered.
I tend to source my fabrics through textile hunting: I work with anything, from charity shop finds like t-shirts and jumpers to old clothes that I find lying about. I’ll then chop, upcycle, resew, sometimes ruin, or create something with that. I even collect leftover threads or offcuts to use ‘at the right time’ again. I’m kinda like a magpie, always looking for things that are broken or not used anymore so that I can try and find a way to incorporate it in my work. I’m interested in mending, embellishing and making something feel personal and rather unique. Colour is super important to me, there’s never enough. And I consider it to be a key element that adds an emotional touch to my work.
Folk traditions inspire me deeply, especially anything with a strong narrative quality. Medieval illustrations from old books and surreal compositions are at the heart of my aesthetics. I don’t really do ‘neutrals’ or ‘subtle’ when it comes to my embroidery, neither do I think embroidery to be ‘merely’ decorative. In fact, embroidery makes me think of the richness of people’s lives and stories, and the mark it leaves on fabric, even after we’re gone.
I’m passionate about the creative potential that embroider has to offer, as a means for self-expression and as a way to refashion, fix and personalise your wardrobe or home. I also think that the act of embroidering is healing and I encourage people in my workshops and classes to embrace imperfection and embark on a personal journey, whilst also appreciating the slow pace of it.
Moody Bright Designs began as a response to concerns about fast fashion and the environment, and because I felt an urgent need to slow down and appreciate the process of making something that speaks to you avoiding waste wherever possible.