Dispatch from Spain | The Embroidery of Señorita Lylo

Project - Diario de una volatil

Today we're excited to share the beautiful embroidery designs and world of Loly Ghirardi (aka Señorita Lylo), a graphic designer based in Barcelona Spain who's career merges with her craft in a really unique way.  With embroidery making such a statement in fashion too right now, we were thrilled to happen upon her colourful world.  We sent her a few questions about her work.

Q. How long have you been embroidering?

A. I started embroidery around 7 years ago. I had the urge to distract my attention away from the computer screen and get closer with craft materials and create work with my hands. I’ve always had curiosity with the crafts, as a child I was an advanced crafter! I loved creating things with my hands, I used to play with clay and used plants/flowers as condiments of fictitious salads. I started to learn crochet, then embroidery… and that opened the door to a whole new world of learning step by step.
I studied with different teachers, some with more technical profiles, others more playful. Summing the techniques, the tricks, visions and clues each of my teachers advised me, later on gave me the courage to create my own style. Every experience and style left its footprint and alongside the cocktail of stitches, textures and secrets, I started visualising my projects.

Project - Diario de una volatil

I also form part of the Barcelona based collective “La guerilla de ganxet” , where we knit and embroider wonderful creations to surprise the public by taking the yarn and thread bobbins out on the street of Barcelona, exposing those creations to tell stories or claim messages about something. We usually knit or embroider on a large scale with an XXL cross stitch, using the urban furniture and fences or decorating an indoors staircase with geometric shapes made out of yard for an event of an editorial company.

The fundamental key to achieve a non-traditional embroidery piece is the media you use. Being creative and imagining a canvas on almost any surface, like on a pair of sneakers, a gate or a piece of garment. The stitches and materials are the same but changing the surface, takes your work on a different level, it gets more interesting and more challenging!  See more images here.

Project - La guerilla de ganxet

Q. Do you sell your embroidery anywhere? Love those collars, are they for sale?
A. I’m currently in the middle of preparing my online shop through Tictail and hope to have it available soon. I will be selling the embroidered collars, a notebook with instructions on flat and relief stitches, and also an embroidery kit that includes coloured thread, needles and a confectioned collar ready for you to decorate.

Q. Tell us how you started embroidering. We see you are a graphic designer by day.
A. As a graphic designer (www.uauh.es), I wanted to introduce handcrafted notions or designs to our projects. I felt it would bring a more ‘human’ touch when dealing with the computer screen. Embroidery can be so diverse that I found my tick and decided to include embroidery in projects that felt suitable and would be a great match. For example, we created an identity for a showroom that showcases local designers, where the logo of this showroom was embroidered. Also a recent collaboration was for the of Agustina Guerrero “Diario de una volatil” where we elegantly combined illustration with embroidery. It was such a great exit, that I decided to make my alter ego Señorita Lylo go public. Ever since then, all my embroidery work was kept in a drawer.

For the book "Wonderland , a wonderful trip " Written by Cristina Camrena @kireeimagazine and illustrated by @ladydesidia
 It was one of the best decisions I made because since then, the collaborations and special commissions started coming in like the covers of LeCoolBarcelona. For this project I created two covers representing my particular view of Barcelona. It started off with collages of key spots around the city being the main protagonists and combined with other elements that worked as complements. The first cover was a close view of my hand holding an ice cream cone that abstractly represent The Gaudi Chimneys and the second cover again a close view of my hand holding a flower bouquet that remind me of the flower shops that run along the Las Ramblas.

Project - LeCoolBarcelona

I’m very passionate in interpreting reality through different types of stitches. Imagining with what type of thread I can stitch a hairstyle, mimic the texture of a certain fabric or a flower. The composition is important, as well as the media used as my working surface. If it has a story to tell, I get very motivated.

Project - LeCoolBarcelona
Q. Are you working on any special projects at the moment with your embroidery
A. Yes, I am currently working on a personal project that consists in embroidering the street names where all the women in my family lived or are still living onto pieces of garments used by these women in my family and that each of them gave me to use as my canvas. It’s composed by numerous pieces, starting off with a handkerchief of my great grandmother Maria who was from Sicily. She was a brave woman in her time as alongside her two children crossed the ocean to Argentina to find a better future for her family. Passing over to my grandmother Fina who decided to live her destiny in Argentina, followed by my dear mother Alicia, who inherited the gift of preparing delicious food and filing with love the hearts of her children and last but not least ending in me who in my turn, is constantly searching for new horizons here in Barcelona.

Each address is a typographic composition respecting the original type fonts of the street names, as well as the other elements that complement the composition, like the house numbers, the traffic signals of the cities, the city and country they’ve lived in. I’ve recompiled photographs taken from my recent travels back home, visiting our old and new neighbourhoods. I aim to keep a lineal sense when building the compositions and transmit emotions when embroidering. I don’t like working on independent pieces, but rather I prefer to include various elements to tell the story. As a designer, I apply my vision so as to the composition and the colours used have a meaning. Take it as embroidered typography.

From great grandmother, to grandmother, to mother and to daughter...a generation of women laced together by passion to find a home and be happy in it. I really hope someday to exhibit this story in a gallery!

Apart from that, I’m working on two collaborations with different artists. One is applying my embroidery onto jeans and the other designing embroidery patterns for men's bow ties.
I would also like to work on new hands on tutorials and travel around Spain to teach them!

Q. I see you are teaching an embroidery course.
A. I am extremely pleased to have been offered to teach embroidery on the online platform Domestika, which allows access to a wider audience who wants to learn this art. I’m invited to their houses or studios through the computer screen teaching them how to embroider with their own rhythm. The community of female and male embroiderers that this course generates, fills me with excitement. (At the moment, this course is only available in Spanish, however it’s possible to be subtitled in English very soon to reach an even bigger audience). Click here for more info.

Thank you Loly! We're so inspired!

Follow Señorita Lylo online:
Site: srtalylo.tumblr.com
Facebook: facebook.com/SrtaLylo
Instagram: instagram.com/srtalylo

Jan Halvarson


Dandelion said...

Waw, beautiful! Love this work!

Lori Bridger said...

All i can say is wow!

I love seeing this kind of thing - it inspires me to do something with the things i am passionate about!

Sol de Noche deco crochet said...

Amazing job!

Monica Mulhern said...

WOw, so beautiful and the colors...gorgeous!