I cannot tell you why, but, as a small child, each time I was given a doll, I'd remove its clothing and replace them with one of my own "creations, made from....toilet paper. I suppose I was attracted to this material because it was plentiful, cheap, and it never intimidated me. I could be as boundlessly creative as possible, all in the knowledge that I could rip my "creation" and start all over again.
Throughout my career, I've always been attracted to non-conventional materials for fashion, especially paper. Anyone who was around in the 1960's can tell you about paper dresses. Andy Warhol and his soup can artwork made it famous. The Scott Paper company commercialized it, creating a line of paper party dresses with matching paper plates, cups, tablecloths and napkins. In some European schools (and the Caribbean school), students engage in an exercise whereby they interpret couture clothes in newspaper as a way of learning about shape and volume.
Today, we shut off the sewing machine, store away the pencils and graph paper. Grab whatever paper you have around the house. Today is all about unleashing the creative genius that lies deep within.
Tissue paper also provides wonderful texture and is easy to use. You can use it to simulate the type of random permanent pleating seen in Japanese designer clothing. Simply crush or twist the paper and tape to the doll. Voila! It's just that simple.
And then there was that very special Christmas wrapping paper resembling diamond dust, I fell in love with last year. I tried making a number of different dresses with no luck. The paper wouldn't take glue very well. I tried to sew it, but the shapes were stiff and hard. Finally I realized I had to go with the flow and create something that worked with its properties. The end result was this very architectural dress.
I cut part of it into slivers and chopped up the rest into uneven geometrics. I first taped plastic wrap to the doll's torso, then taped the slivers and ribbons one at a time until I arrived at the desired look.
All of my looks, thus far, are ad hoc designs dictated by the materials. But how about using paper to practice draping or to sharpen the eye to brain to hand coordination?
Search online for ballgowns, bridalwear or Haute Couture formal dresses. Print out the image and place it where you can see it while you are working. Take newspaper in hand and crumple, pleat, slice or crush each morsel as you emulate the shapes in view.
Finally, I decided to try my luck at making a coat-dress from the Christian Dior Fall 2008 collection, using....paper toweling. Where do you start? The bodice of course. Here is how I went about it.
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|Full sized newspaper draped dresses from students of the Caribbean Academy of Fashion & Design @ UTT.|
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