Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Transforming Paper into Fashion

There are always artists pushing the boundaries with creating out of everyday simple items.....such as paper. Working with such a delicate material and painstakingly molding it into a spectacular dress or any object for that matter, is just pure talent. Having the patience to intricately cut stunning designs from paper via hand or lazer and then glue, sew, knit or weave the pieces together bit by bit shows both discipline and passion.

Paper made clothes and accessories (mainly as costumes) were used as early as the 19th century. Apparantly during wars and crisis, alternative materials were required for clothing, and paper provided the easiest and cheapest method. The use of paper in fashion became a short lived novelty in the 60's when American Scott Paper Company produced a dress as part of a marketing stunt. Customers could send it $1.25 and receive a op-art design dress made of 'dura-weave'. It started a huge craze that had fashion houses following suit producing and selling paper clothes for women, men and children. Even bridal gowns were produced. It was the eye catching colours and pop art designs featured on these garments that had people loving this trend. However by the end of the 60's, the novelty soon wore off.....they were generally ill-fitting, uncomfortable to wear, couldn't wear them in the rain, flammable, and trashed after a few wears. Since then designers such as John Galliano, Issey Miyake, Alexander McQueen have used paper in their creative collections as expressions of art. 
I'm so enchanted with the whole paper fashion/art style, I felt compelled to write about it. So exquisite to look at, one of these dresses sitting on a mannequin in my lounge room would give me joy. 
There are a few talented paper artists out there...some stand out more than others. Here are my picks...

Jum Nakao, Brazilian born from Japanese parents. Inspired by Origami Art
I would have to say Jum Nakao is one of the most recognised talented paper artist today.
In his own words "All of my works, for example, the paper made fashion lines, have a playful relationship with the spectator. This lightness is necessary to get a distance from reality and a connection with the invisible, with people's imagination, to let them see it from a different perspective - a less realistic one."  
In one of his fashion shows (as you will see in photos below), after the models walked the catwalk, they were made to rip the paper dresses off.
Hours and hours of work making these elaborate gowns.......
In a matter of minutes all that work ripped off...... in the name of 'art'
A little more of his work.....
Hard to believe these dresses are made of paper...Click here to view more of his work. 

The Makerie Studio
The exceptionally talented duo behind Makerie Studio are Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft. These two women who spread between New York, London, Milan create three-dimensional paper sculptures for window installations, events, editorials, galleries, private collection and much more. They don't stop at fashion, click here to view their other stunning designs such as birds, architectural sculptures and window displays.

Elin Johansson
This coat by Elin is made of cotton paper. It was cut into strips and glued together. Then hand knitted to shape. Wow, wow and wow.  

Tara Keens
Trinidadian Architect Tara created this divine sculptural dress for her masters thesis which she named "ecstatic spaces"(a befitting name). It was one of a series of carnival costumes made from folded paper and twisted rope. View more of her architectural paper work here you won't be disappointed.

And to think even shoes made of paper....
I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have in researching it. There are thousands of stunning paper sculpture images that I spent hours viewing and almost as many wonderful artists out there creating these pieces. Well done to you all.  

The question is.....Would you wear one?? 

With love 

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