Style Melbourne

Paper Dresses

For the first time in Australia comes the exhibition “Paper Dresses”, an extract of pieces from a collection of over 400 paper fashion designs (mostly dresses, but also including Japanese kimonos and even a bikini).

Paper Dresses exhibition

Most of the dresses on display here originated from 1966-1969, with a few more additions created as recently as 2007 (most notably from fashion designer Hussein Chalayan). Paper dresses came into vogue in the 60’s when the Scott Paper Company engineered a publicity stunt to promote their new napkin range called ‘colourful explosions’. Shoppers could send in a coupon after purchasing the paper products along with $1.25 to receive a disposable paper dress. Scott received over half a million orders and a fad was born…

Paper Dresses exhibition

As with any trend, imitators followed and a range of paper dresses were made during the next few years. Some feature the work of Andy Warhol, king of the pop art movement, including his infamous soup cans and his portraits of Universal Studios stars du jour such as Doris Day, Kirk Douglas and Marlon Brando. Other dresses garner inspiration from paint, psychedelic patterns and even the Yellow Pages. The halcyon days of the paper dress may be over due to eco-concerns over their disposability yet modern dresses inspired by the trend are sometimes fashioned from Tyvek (a super-strong version like paper).

Paper Dresses exhibition

These 32 paper dresses from a collection usually housed in Greece, will be exhibited free at Chadstone opening today until June 5th 2011 during opening hours.

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