CLEA LALA embroiders with DELSEY

Did you know that you can put embroidery onto bags? CLEA LALA, the embroiderer, has done it for DELSEY! You certainly need a softside luggage and a certain expertise in embroidery. Take a look now at the exclusive interview with CLEA LALA, she talks about Paris, her travels and gives us some tips which will make you want to take up embroidery yourself!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Paris between the 11th, 20th and 18th arrondissements. I wasn't born there but I love the differences between the different areas and the diversity of the people in this city!

You talk a lot about Paris on social media. What does the city mean to you?

The diversity! The different neighbourhoods, ambience, people...

Which is your favourite part of Paris and why

I don't have a favourite part, really because I love all the parts of Paris together…! From the countryside feel of the hill at Montmartre to the popular and arty parts of Bastille, from the trendy and partying neighbourhoods of the Marais to the soothing greenery of the Buttes Chaumont... From the melting pot of Belleville, of Les Halles, of the 18th arrondissement to the cobbled streets and unusual passageways. I like to live this city from every angle, on foot, by subway or on a bike!

And your best journey, what was that?

It was backpacking in the south of Europe: I visited eight countries in a month without stopping more than two days in the same town… The landscapes that hit me most were the Meteora in Greece and the waterfalls in Slovenia.

What can't you be without, even when you're travelling?

Some paper and a pen! To write down ideas, bits of overheard phrases, states of mind…

Your speciality is embroidery. When did you start embroidering?

It's embroidery but really it's the creation and design the (image, object, graphics and typography) and I've been doing this since I was very little. When I was a teenager, I used to use a sewing machine to make accessories and fiddle with things with material my mother had. Then I had to put my hobbies to one side while I was studying visual communication. But three years ago, I really enjoyed getting to use my old skills again alongside all the things I had learnt during my studies (BTS at Estienne and DSAA at Olivier de Serres, Paris). Now I use embroidery as a creative technique in the same way as someone might use silkscreen, etching or ink to give life to their pictures. I also like to work with different techniques on the same project and mix thread together with pen, felt, watercolour...

Which support do you prefer embroidering on?

I prefer rigid and slightly dense supports (paper, stretched canvas…) which leave me lot of freedom to work with the thread in spite of occasional problems with trying to get the needle through!

Can you tell us about your favourite type of embroidery?

Drop stitch is a stitch I'm particularly fond of because it means I can make a stitch like a pen stroke. But I also like chain stitch which lets me follow round a curved tracing. And above all I like using the thread without necessarily embroidering with it but rather giving it some freedom.

If we wanted to take up embroidery too, what would we need?

The basic kit is, of course, some thread, a needle and a pair of scissors. Then the drum (the little wooden circle) that lets you stretch your work out if the support is floppy. And then imagination and creativity… because it's not enough to know how to embroider, you have to know what to embroider! Your kit can then expand to pencils, rubber, tracing paper, transfer paper, thick or thin thread, sequins...

Find all of CLEA LALA's work here and now on her Facebook page CLEA LALA, on her instagram @clea_lala and on her website!

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