I made my first paper dress about 10 years ago, and since then I have made almost 40 dresses in total. My dresses have been featured at benefit events, in 4 runway shows, and even an advertisement in China. Unfortunately, I have not been able to add to my paper dress collection for the past few years while I have been growing this website. Now that my extra fine crepe paper line is launching, I have had the opportunity to get back into this incredible art form, and with a material that I have never used for paper dresses before. It seems like crepe would be an obvious paper material for making dresses, but in the past I have always used either recycled magazines or printed copy paper.
I have now made two crepe paper dresses this year (so far ;-)). I know that this may sound silly, but I try to listen to the paper as I am crafting each dress. This extra fine crepe is a such a luscious material for making dresses because it creates a gorgeously soft look. The first dress that I made this year is the white gown that was featured at the Paperworld event in Germany in January. This dress is made with the Chiffon color in my crepe line. With this dress I wanted to create a lovely natural movement with a structure that was reminiscent of a vintage dress circa 1940s. Because this dress ended up with a beautiful bridal feel, I decided to also make a matching bridal bouquet using the same soft hues of crepe. My newest dress, which I made for the 2016 National Stationery Show, showcases a deep purple color scheme using the colors Aubergine and Sangria from my crepe line. My inspiration for this dress was certainly floral, and I wanted this gown to resemble a big beautiful bloom. I explored current couture trends to come up with this corset-on-the-outside design. I love how the defined lines of the bodice can offer an edgy balance to the soft petals of the skirt. Just as with my first crepe paper dress, this dress moves beautifully. Making these crepe paper dresses has shown me how much easier this material is to shape than other paper materials. It is almost like a fabric because it is so malleable and delicate. Overall, these dresses have a different voice than my previous dresses. Extra fine crepe paper adds a certain level of femininity that I have always aimed to achieve in my dressmaking, and I am smitten with the versatility of the material.
I have a vision of organizing another runway show to exhibit these crepe dresses in combination with dresses made from other paper materials. I am forever learning, and creating these wearable art pieces is an amazing way for me to observe and acknowledge my growth as a papercrafter. If you are interested in seeing more of my newest crepe dress, the video below is a fun little compilation of clips from the recent photo shoot of the aubergine dress, modeled by my lovely daughter. I certainly have plans to make more crepe paper dresses this year, and for now, I am feeling beyond excited for what’s to come. Cheers! ~ Lia
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