Karen Torrisi has been designing & creating luxurious, exquisite beading & embroideries professionally since 1994, a career spanning over 3 decades. She currently works in London UK & Paris France.

Karen's formal training began in Sydney Australia in Fashion. She then pursued the specialized study of beading in Aust, with the late beading author Maisie Jarratt.

She continued her training at Ecole D' Broderie d'art Lesage in Paris, receiving a Queens Trust Grant for Young Achievers to study Haute Couture Beading and Embroidery to professional level in Paris in 1999.

To further her advanced embroidery skills, she has attended courses at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court in the UK.

Opening her own atelier in Sydney Australia in 1994, Karen designed beading & embroidery for many designers & couturiers, coordinated beading for a team of local embroiderers and then coordinating beading production in India & China.

Karen has been teaching Tambour Beading and Hand Embroidery since 2000. She currently teaches other enthusiasts these skills at govt. institutions, for the Embroiderers Guild, privately & at Art & Stitch Symposiums around the world.

She won 1st Prize (Open Category) in the Hand & Lock Embroidery Prize. This is an internationally prestigious embroidery prize. 

She is the author of the book "The Art of Making Hand Beaded Bags". Her bead embroidery projects feature in such magazines as Inspirations, Australian Country Craft, Embroidery & Cross Stitch & Beads Etc,

Film work commissions:

Moulin Rouge, Dark City, Peter Pan,

Star Wars II Attack of the Clones Star Wars III, Revenge of the Sith & Superman 2006.

Theatrical commissions:

Tina Turner Hamburg & London, Aladdin Hamburg & London, Lion King, Sunset Boulevard, Chicago, Show Boat, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, The Lion King, The Producers, Spamalot, Wicked, Mary Poppins & Love Never Dies.

Fashion Commissions:

Chanel, YSL & Celine Haute Couture & RTW Paris. Ralph & Russo Haute Couture London.

Red carpet commissions include:

Opening Ceremony Gown for Olivia Newton John 2000 Sydney Olympic games.

Singer: Delta Goodram 2004 Aria awards & 2005 World Music Awards.

High profile society wedding Jodhi Packer Party Dress

Like a painter filling a canvas, Karen loves seeing her ideas become a reality beneath her needle. “I love to use colours in my work and the fact that with beaded embroidery you begin with a clear palette and you finish with something that is sparkly, textured and alive, and visually delicious.”

Currently she works in London UK & offers the following services:

Embroidery Design

Creating Technical hand embroidery, swatches & bespoke pieces.

Coordinating beading & embroidery Production in the UK & India

Freelance Commission Work for Haute Couture Fashion, Film, TV, Theatre, Interiors, High Street Fashion & Bridal

Teaching: Tambour Beading & Hand Embroidery Classes.

For enquiries contact her at: [email protected]

Karen now beads exclusively for selected designers & costumiers.

Download Curriculum Vitae