I am Irena, embroidery designer from Latvia, Europe. I was born in 1969 in Riga, the capital of Latvia, where I lived and studied. About ten years ago I changed the hustle and bustle of the city for a quiet life in the countryside near the city of Preili and I am very glad about it. My grandmother, who I spent all my holidays with, lived here. This is when, in my early childhood, my passion for needlework began. Grandmother sewed, wove, and knitted, and it was always interesting for me to watch, and then start doing something myself. Like all girls, it all started with dolls for me. Interests have not changed since then, but have already developed into a profession.
Embroidery is my passion and profession at the same time. I began to study this art at the age of 15 at the Art School of Applied Arts in Riga. Then I studied at the University of Latvia at the Department of Fine Arts, but the main school, which finally determined my love for hand embroidery, was Ecole Lesage in Paris - the best school in the world in the field of Haute Couture.
Over the years, I have developed my own style in embroidery. I have created collections of clothes with embroidery. I have participated in numerous fashion shows and competitions. One of them was the contest "Russian Silhouette"/Moscow 2004, where I took first place. The prize was internship at the fashion house "Escada" in Munich.
Since 2005, I have been creating embroidered jewelry and handbags that no one had seen before. Now, there are more and more followers of my style.
In 2010 I presented my hand-embroidered jewelry at the exhibition "Rooms" in Tokyo.
I want to tell you about my path at the Lesage school in Paris. It was a life-changing meeting with Monsieur Lesage in 1995 at the art school in Riga. He wished to see our embroidery school in Latvia. My teacher called me and said, “Come quickly, we have a great embroiderer from Paris!” Without hesitation, I arrived at the meeting. On the advice of the teacher, I took with me a piece of my embroidery, made on my grandmother's Singer. After he told us about his school, my whole understanding of embroidery turned upside down. He gave us a book and a video cassette, where I saw where and how all the Haute Couture collections of the most famous fashion houses are embroidered.
I won’t retell our entire conversation now, but after I showed him my embroidery, he patted me on the back and said “Come to study with us!”, and I got obsessed with this thought. At that time, there was no way to get such money for studies. But I was stubbornly going towards this goal and 8 years later, in 2003, I went to Paris for the first time to study. In total, I went there 7 times as soon as I had the opportunity. And finally, in 2019, I completed my studies at this famous school. I have completed all levels of Interiors Embroidery, Haute Couture and all possible additional courses offered by the school.
Since 2015, I have been teaching hand embroidery, sharing my experience, and inspiring many of my students from different countries. I regularly post new masterclasses on my page, and sometimes I do online courses too.
Look for inspiration, it's everywhere. It just needs to be seen and caught. It can be anything - nature, music, good mood, art history, unusual materials, and so on.
I sincerely believe that any goal is achieved through practice, hard work, and effort.
Welcome to my world of hand embroidery!