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Crossing Borders

“A true tribute to James Sugden’s lasting legacy was his insistence that we work with a young student from the Royal School of Needlework, Sarah Mower, MBE, a leading industry advocate of upcoming talent across the fashion industry instigated the meeting with ourselves and Lizzie Lowe. We were fortunate to be involved in her project creating a couture piece in her family tartan for her hand embellishment. Which proves amazing things can happen when like minds work together.” – Stewart Christie & Co

Crossing Borders is a bespoke menswear collection in collaboration with Stewart Christie & Co, who are the oldest tailors in Scotland established in 1720. They specialise in bespoke formal menswear. The collection includes a three-piece embroidery suit, loafers, a collection of socks, ties, cuff links and tie bars.

The backdrop to Lizzie’s luxury embellishment is the MacNeill tartan -which represents her own Scottish Heritage worn by members of Lizzie’s mother’s side of the family, when they crossed the borders to live in England.

Lizzie has used the inherent design within the tartan as an artistic map to allow the co coordinating and strategic placement of the contemporary embellishment on the historical tartan, enhanced using luxurious contrasting velvet.

The primary technique showcased through this collection is Goldwork embroidery. Lizzie has taken some of its traditional stitches and used these in a contemporary way to embellish the tartan of the suit. Whilst   the basic stitches of this technique are relatively simple, the use of specific wire combinations makes the embroidery very detailed and intricate.

Crossing Borders three piece suit, shoes and matching socks

Mannequin in photograph kindly loaned by Paul Smith 

Lizzie checking the finishing details on the suit

Photography by Laura Meek 

Sometimes Lizzie has have been rigid with her embroidery techniques - keeping within the boundaries formed by the tartan weave but sometimes she has also consciously pushed towards and then cut across these boundaries. Cutting across the  natural  borders of the fabric is an artistic reflection of  the determination required for her  family   to move   from  the familiarity of their  home  in Scotland and their  innate  willingness  to explore new ideas .

Across this collection are also the underlying military themes around exploring new lands with   purpose - with   the use of gold castle designs in precise soldier like formation down the side of the trouser leg, the regimental familiarity of the badge  design on the jacket pocket and the embroidered velvet buttons reminiscent of those found on ceremonial tunic sleeves.


All parts complement each other in terms of material, design and colours and together provide a bespoke, luxurious look within an exclusive and unique   high-end quality menswear collection.

trousers of the crossing borders collection

Photography by Laura Meek 

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