Chloe Haywood’s couture patches are the perfect fashion fix for Manchester Art Gallery

Chloe Haywood’s design style is a perfect match for Manchester Art Gallery’s new fashion exhibition. Unpicking Couture will feature pieces from a high-end fashion collection that was recently acquired by the gallery.

The exhibition will showcase fabulous outfits from design greats like Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli, Azzedine Alaia, Vivienne Westwood, Bruce Oldfield and Alexander McQueen. They’ll be on display for the first time at Manchester Art Gallery and each outfit will depict ‘a groundbreaking moment in fashion’. 

The exhibition has two main themes; fashion and emotions & repair and restoration. The fashion and emotions topic revolves around dopamine dressing – dressing for joy and the way fashion makes us feel. Repair and restoration is about “considering the lifecycle of a garment and the way it is valued and cared for”. That’s important to Blue Patch from a sustainability perspective. 

Blue Patch facilitates collaborations with museums, art galleries and national institutions on projects. Blue Patch collaborated with the gallery on the Happy Planet Store last year. They subsequently asked Edward Bulmer Natural Paint to be their Official Paint Sponsors, which included decorating the new Climate Gallery and the exhibition Dandy Style.

Chloe Haywood was also one of the Happy Planet Store suppliers. This year Manchester Art Gallery approached her about producing a product specifically for their new exhibition. As repair and restoration is about lengthening the lifetime of a piece of clothing, they wanted Chloe to produce applique patches that could be used to upcycle. 

This is exactly what Chloe does, she recycles cashmere into beanies, mitts and decorative items. She adds applique shapes onto her distinctive cashmere hot water bottle covers. She decorates her bolt bracelet and kiss cuffs with lightning bolts and lip designs. She also beautifully upcycles clothing into one-off and individual pieces. She is the perfect match for the gallery’s requirements for this event.

To add to the excitement, Chloe is currently part of a project where Blue Patch members design new items using offcuts from the Royal Opera House costume department. More news on this project and how Chloe and other Blue Patch members have used the materials will follow soon. 

Chloe has used the Royal Opera House costumes, her own mother’s fabrics and silk organza from the Offset Warehouse to make gorgeous sparkly couture patches for Unpicking Couture. The applique patches are decorated in gold leaf with recycled sequins and beads from second hand garments. 

They are the perfect upcycle project for someone who loves sparkle and is interested in the story of where the materials came from. They epitomise the idea that a well loved garment can be brought to new life using applique for many more years of use. 

As always, Chloe has worked sustainably. She is currently working on measuring the carbon footprint of her business by doing Blue Patch’s Let’s Do Net Zer0 programme. Blue Patch patron Naturesave has provided Chloe with additional support through their Sustainability Health Check. 

Chloe is using recycled materials for the couture patches. They are individually wrapped in eco-friendly packaging and the cards are printed with eco-friendly inks. 

They will be available in Manchester Art Gallery from this weekend and are exclusive to the gallery for an initial period. For more information about Chloe’s work and to purchase her other products, visit her website at 

Annette Clubley

Annette is a keen wildlife conservationist, mindful of sustainability and our impact on the environment. Outside of work, family is her focus and she loves teaching the next generation to enjoy the outdoors.