Spores of Life

Naomi Aindow

Naomi Aindow visualises body adornments from all of her creations. Combining bespoke hand embroidery with fabric manipulation her adornments focus on accentuating the beauty of the face through the exploration of nature. Naomi thrives on seeking out materials. Her love of haberdasheries allows her to explore new threads and materials from all over the world, which constantly brings new life to her work. Her favourited style lies within delicate intricacies, which her current project pushes the boundaries of and breaks through to a new territory.

Her current project, ‘Spores of Life’, focuses around Fungi and Lichen, looking at the minute patterns within an overall spore, such as the Oyster Mushroom and Tundra Lichen. Naomi is particularly drawn to these macro details. The concept, the deeper you look the more you discover, is perfectly demonstrated through the common puffball mushroom. The surface texture appears to be fluffy but closer inspection reveals tiny soft spikes. This concept is detailed heavily throughout ‘Spores of Life’. As you gaze deeper into the adornment, more stitches and textures become apparent.

Using structural forms to create heavily embellished body adornments, Naomi creates textural surfaces which inhabit the neck and face, mimicking the way Lichen inhabits different environments. The placement and shaping of these body adornments creates an organic, yet invasive, feel to the finish. These are two key features of the collection. Naomi’s original artwork looked at pleating papers which then moved on to pleated fabrics. This led her research to the Tudor Ruff and how this may be interpreted in the modern day. She found the idea of the ruffs restriction fascinating, and felt it gave an invasive feel to the wearer, just how lichen and fungi appear invasive to their habitat. She has interpreted features of the Tudor Ruff throughout the collection, seen through both pleat and placement.

Working on sheer fabrics, such as Silk Organza and Crin helps the embroidery become malleable allowing it to form to the body. Goldwork, a traditional military embroidery technique, is featured heavily amongst the collection, alongside Beading and Surface Stitches. Naomi has worked these techniques in a contemporary fashion and uses wired edges to give the final outcomes structure. The collection uses different shades of blush and rose gold to create a neutral and elegant feeling across the pieces.

The three adornments within this collection:

  • ‘Disperse’, ‘Inhabit’ and ‘Embrace’, focus on individual features. ‘Disperse’ scatters itself around the shoulders and face. Different hand embroidered textures highlight the concept of the deeper you look, the more you find, as seen within Lichen. This piece also features pleated organza that touches on the shaping of an oyster mushroom.
  • ‘Inhabit’, uses pleat to create mushroom like structures, surrounded by hand embroidery that creates heightened textures. This piece inhabits the shoulders and moves its way up the face. Both ‘Disperse’ and ‘Inhabit’ look at two different growth patterns of Lichen.
  • ‘Embrace’, focuses on upscaling the minute features of ‘Disperse’ and ‘Inhabit’, embracing the growth of these spores. Using large scale hand embroidery, this piece wraps itself around both shoulders and subtly caresses the neck.

Naomi is a Graduate of the Royal School of Needlework with a BA (Hons) in Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art. Over her three years at the RSN she was awarded the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers Bursary. She has had her work displayed at: the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston, in March 2019, as part of the ‘Hanbok’ exhibition; The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, in January 2020, for Artist Susan Aldworth’s ‘Out of the Blue’ collection. Naomi has worked with the Embroidery Team at Ralph & Russo. She interned with Zandra Rhodes in 2019 which then led to freelance work as a hand finisher throughout her final year and to the present. Naomi is moving on to a Masters in Jewellery to extend her knowledge in materials and further develop her practice. She intends to create a bespoke hand embroidered range of Jewellery and Bridal Accessories, which will form the forefront of her practice.


You can follow Naomi on her Instagram page and on her website.


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