Upon graduating from the RSN BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery in 2019, Abigail Noronha launched the brand ‘Ellis + Noronha’ with her Degree course colleague, Charlie Ellis.
“Having visited India with my family when I was younger I was reminded of the colour, pattern and beauty that came with the country and realised how heavily these things resonated with me. I also found out my Indian grandmother (who I’d never met) was a keen hand embroiderer and had that artistic side, something my dad was always keen to point out as that’s where I must have got it from! A lot of my time at the RSN was spent exploring colour through painting and then stitch. The development always felt really natural and informed by my knowledge of colour, but also my background.
I joined the RSN Degree Course thanks to my art foundation teacher, who noticed I always opted for hand embroidery over any other technique and so mentioned the RSN to me. My mum and I took a trip to Hampton Court Palace and we went met the team at the RSN, and that was it – there was no other place I wanted to go! The welcome I had at the Open Day was so warm and lovely that I already felt at home. I just didn’t get that anywhere else.
My favourite moment was when the Degree Course Leader came into the classroom and told us that Alexander McQueen needed some embroiderers for a special project. It was probably the most surreal, but amazing moment. We were whisked away and spent the day stitching at there!
I graduated in 2019 and am now one half of Ellis + Noronha, which is a brand my best friend and I launched in our last year of Uni in 2019. We have had so much going on, but one of the most exciting projects has been our recent collaboration with fellow south west London small business owner, Hannah Walker. We embroidered her lovely headbands with pearls, sequins and beads. Throughout the year, we bring out small collections of embroidered Goldwork jewellery. We make earrings, rings, hair embellishments and bracelets. This has really taken off in the last year and we’re so excited about its future!
If you are thinking of applying to the RSN Degree Course, make sure you book onto an Open Day! Also take time to browse through RSN’s Instagram and the current and past students Instagram accounts, because you’ll be able to see the quality and talent that comes from the school.