When fine art techniques and fashion trends collide, something incredible will inevitably come of it. In the case of Spring/Summer 2017, embroidered denim is the latest and greatest in the fine art meets fashion world. While to an untrained eye it may just look like any other fad coming and going with the seasons, to an art historian or textile enthusiast it’s certain that this “trend” isn’t going to fade anytime soon. In fact, this newly popular thing isn’t really a new thing at all.


Embroidery started as a necessary part of the life of humans in prehistoric times to stitch skins together in order to have garments to wear. Over time, embroidery evolved with humans to become a form of fine art eventually leading to the development of sewing machines. While the art of embroidery started as a domestic activity and form of expression for women in their homes, it quickly became a platform that allowed female artists to compete with their male counterparts and even played a role in helping legitimize female artists to society.


Today, aside from providing colorful and interesting embellishment to retail items in boutiques everywhere, embroidery as a form of fine art is still alive and definitely thriving. It is used in high fashion, retail fashion, textile creation, and in the art of mixed media pieces more often than people may expect. And, just as it began, hand-stitched embroidery continues to be very much involved in contemporary art.


Check out some of our favorite contemporary artists using embroidery


Tracy Emin

photo // via saatchigallery.com



Tessa Perlow

photo // via @tessa_perlow



Inge Jacobsen 

photo // via ingejacobsen.com



Sarah K Benning

photo // via sarahkbenning.com



Ghada Amer

photo // via ghadaamer.com


So, next time you see that cute pair of florally embellished jeans or a hand stitched denim jacket you think you just can’t afford right now, remember, not only will you be adding a beautiful, new, and trendy piece to your fashion collection, you’ll be investing in a timeless form of art that just happens to be wearable.