Anneleen Bertels is one of those designers whose mere touch forever and always results in beauty. But first Anneleen is a thinker too: her textile & embroidery practice draws on a deeply intellectual, dauntless and poetic research. On one hand she keeps perfecting her artisanal haute couture embroidery techniques, on the other she experiments with traditional and innovative production methods to create her own beads from reclaimed materials. It imbues her work with an embodied intelligence that convinces haute couture houses, fashion universities, private clients or neighbourhood community centres alike. By collaborating with goldsmiths, architects or engineers, she opens up embroidery to manifest a physical form of poetry in other spaces, scales and disciplines.
This can result in door handles as architectural beads or an embroidery machine that transforms sound into physical form. Her work positions tactile, microscopic beauty within a bigger political and philosophical picture of global issues like sustainability, cultural heritage and technological innovation.
After graduating in fashion design at Artez University of the Arts in 2013, Anneleen worked as a fashion designer and product developer for several major fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Maison Martin Margiela and Ann Demeulemeester. By working with goldsmiths, she got interested in expanding fashion and jewellery design with new materials and applications. Since the founding of her own Textile & Embroidery Lab in January 2022, she develops “jewellerized textiles”: textile work embellished or mended through embroidery with jewellery pieces. It earned her a development grant from Flanders State of the Art, which will serve a research trip to Japan to study traditional textile crafts. The official project launch is set for Parcours Bijoux 2023 in Paris.
Anneleen’s work has been widely published and exhibited, most notably by Amsterdam Fashion Week, the Hyères Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories and at the first edition of Brussels Jewellery Week’s main exhibition In Fieri. She has also taught as a guest tutor at the Beckmans Designhögskola in Stockholm.