» Paper CoutureJohn Sands
Paper Couture
Paper Couture

Paper Couture

In what’s becoming a paperless society, paper is still used for more than just printing your emails, reading from and writing on. Creative use of paper in the arts, crafts and design is one of our passions here at JS. For this style article we thought we’d combine our love of fashion with our love of paper. Quality paper that can be of a certain texture, weight and pattern can be used to make paper couture.

Runway fashion has embraced this art form in shows over many years that have included designers such as Jum Nakao, Chanel and Rami Kashoú for Papyrus on Project Runway Season 4.

Tell us about the Papyrus dresses you designed.
The Papyrus dress that I designed were pretty much a deja vu of Project Runway times ten. It’s reminded me of the Hershey’s challenge that I did during Project Runway, but on a more complex level. I designed for Fashion’s Night Out, this flamenco layered gown with many flounces out of origami. I used greeting card stationary, gift bags, wrapping paper, you name it, and everything was unconventional material, where I was able to eventually mold this sort of really grand, vibrant, colorful gown. It turned out to be really really beautiful. The second one was a tiered pleated wedding gown that had different shades of taupe and off-white, and that was made out of gift wrapping paper and Papyrus flowers that they used for bridal engagements for example. The third one was a cocktail dress, which was a holiday theme. That was really fun. It was like a big bow, it looked like a present, wrapped around the body, and it had the colors of gold, red, and fuchsia. So each one has different details and characteristics and they’re getting better and better as we go.

What was that like working with paper instead of fabric?
It’s very different because you’re working with a material that easily rips. So it’s like you’re discovering new methods and techniques how to make paper look like fabric. It takes a lot of patience, and in a way it feels like creating art. Because it’s not like drawing a sketch and executing it out of paper; it’s really about letting the paper decide what is possible and not possible, and discovering new ideas as you’re building one at a time. So one idea kind of completes the next during the process. It’s definitely a lot more challenging, and it takes a lot more time.

You can read the full story of Rami’s fashion journey courtesy of Runway Magazine here.

“Sewing the Invisible” is a fashion collection by Jum Nako. This stunning collection of paper dresses can be seen as our featured image © Jum Nakao and fashion show video here.

If you love to make things from paper, are great at sewing and have a passion for fashion or dress making, send us a link to your page – the best way to stay inspired is to inspire others!

Check out our Pinterest page as well for heaps of other paper couture ideas.

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