Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Most Amazing Dress You Will Never Wear

For our projects for the Penland class, we are supposed to make some form of "dress" using non-traditional materials, to talk about an issue or express a point of view. So, of course, I'm making a dress. Out of paper. And it's a wedding dress. With a train. Yes, it is a royal p-i-t-a. Sewing paper isn't necessarily the easiest thing I've ever done, but hey, compared to the MODA show craziness, this is only one dress. And it doesn't have to be done until Thursday morning! I think it's going to look really cool, though. The skirt and train are going to be covered in paper fans in varying sizes, and the bodice is going to be covered in flowers made out of different types of paper. We're all going to be displaying our pieces outside on Thursday (fingers crossed for nice weather!) spread out in a large field adjacent to the school. One of the guys who works in the iron department here is making stands to hold our pieces. One girl is hanging hers from a giant shepherd's crook; mine is going to have an interior stake that it will be wired to so that it looks like it is standing on its own. The point of these pieces is to create the illusion of fabric, creating a piece that tricks the eye. Yet almost every person who has come upstairs to look at our stuff (we're on the third floor) asks if we are going to wear our pieces. Even after my classmate Nicole has finished explaining that her "dress" is actually made out of aluminum screen and rebar tie wire, and that she's spent much of her time here wearing heavy gloves and using tin snips, they look at it, look at her, and then ask if she's going to wear it. "But you could wear it, right?" "No, not really, it would cut you up pretty badly." "But, like, for a fashion show you could wear it, right?" "It's not made to be worn!" "Oh." (Followed by confused looks.) If it looks like a dress, then it must be a dress, therefore it must be wearable, and therefore someone must wear it. Funny how the human mind works; we are always trying to put things we aren't sure about into a better frame of reference, and the dress is a fairly widely recognized item with a clear set of expectations, including wearability. Here's a picture of the start of my dress. I've folded hundreds of paper fans and made dozens of paper flowers; now I'm starting to sew them all on to the lining (made out of old bed sheets). It is extremely tedious. So now I'm going to go work on it a little more. Or maybe just go to bed.


Post a Comment

<< Home