Livia Papiernik graduated from the RSN Degree in 2018, heading off to India to work for the designer Manish Arora, working on his S/S 19 collection during Paris Fashion Week and exhibiting her graduate collection at Première Vision Paris, ‘the global event for fashion professionals’, as part of the TexSelect team of young designers in the September. Following the international trade show, Livia then established herself as a Freelancer worked on some teaching jobs in both the UK and abroad, as well as working as an Embroiderer for fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Mary Katrantzou, Zandra Rhodes and Ralph & Russo. September 2019 saw Livia start her two year MA at the Royal College of Arts (RCA), in London, on the textile mixed media course which she will complete in summer 2021.
In October 2020, Livia told us that her embroidered textile garment, ‘Wear Your Heritage with Pride’, created in 2nd year of the RSN Degree, was being featured in Textile Artist Anne Kelly’s new book, ‘Textile Travels’, Anne’s fourth book with Batsford. This book is an evocative exploration of how travel – local and far away – can inform, inspire and enhance textile art, and Anne shows the reader how to capture their travels, past and present, in stitch, with practical techniques sitting alongside inspiring images.
Livia’s ‘Wear Your Heritage with Pride’ piece was her first personal project which grew from questioning her own roots and identity. The book explains: “Saddened by the new rise in xenophobia and narrow-minded views on immigration, Livia challenged these ideas while ultimately questioning what classifies someone as an immigrant. Having grown up in a society with an ever-widening racial, religious and cultural diversity, Livia has always embraced the richness that it can bring.
Exploring her ancestry and heritage, Livia follows her French roots all the way back to Poland before the Jews were persecuted during the Holocaust. She also explores the English side to the East End of London and back to Ireland, Scotland and central Europe, where many of her family come from.
Livia uses Goldwork and Silk Shading techniques alongside unconventional materials, bold colours and 3D embellishment. Whitework and lace are predominant inspirations for her surface designs and these intertwine with her graphic family portraits to create a unique family tree that explores personal and global issues of identity. By embroidering her artwork onto a garment, she reflects how our heritage is part of us and how we carry it with us everywhere.”
We wish Livia every success in her final Masters year at the RCA and look forward to seeing her textile art and practice develop!