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These designs are anything but tear-ible: MA fashion students wow with paper dresses

By Chloe L Wright Feb 26, 2020
Designs by MA fashion students. Photo: Isabella Ruffatti

With bravery, imagination and creativity, KU fashion students have used their skills to create designs that would only seem possible in a utopian world where it rains cupcakes, and the sky is made of candy floss.
Using only paper as their primary material, MA fashion students at Kingston University created impressive dresses and designs for their assessed coursework in semester one.

The fashion students could fold, paint and even iron their work, meaning the finished products were all mostly different from one another.

Lèa Beauvais, 22, said the most challenging part of the project was how new the idea was.

She said: “As a fashion student, we usually work with fabric shaped by sewing techniques, but here it was forbidden to sew.

“It was then necessary to find different ideas to assemble the elements together.”

The designs were all sketched out by the students who then brought their ideas to life with the paper.

There was not one type of paper that had to be used, allowing the final designs to be as original and creative as possible.

Richard Sorger, the MA fashion leader at KU, said: “It is about developing a technique of paper manipulation and applying it to the body.

“By using paper, the student is freed up from thinking about traditional construction techniques used for making clothes in fabric.”

Qianhuizi Chang, 24, said the fragility of the paper made the project more difficult than working with traditional materials as paper can tear a lot easier, and it can often get dirty.

She said: “The worst part [of using paper] is that it is hard to save. But I prefer the shape of my paper and some parts of the bulging, as it cannot be achieved by fabric.”

Despite sustainability not being mentioned in the assignment brief, paper is more environmentally friendly than many materials that clothes are typically made from.

With a rise in fast fashion being abolished, and many people choosing to source their clothes from charity shops, paper could be the new sustainable material.

Beauvais said: “Sustainable fashion is interesting due to the fact it is always looking for alternatives, especially with the material.”

She added that sustainable fashion is one of the most interesting ways to create new pieces in the fashion industry.

The paper designs were used as a springboard for recreating the clothes using fabric which is impressively on display at Knights Park.

By Chloe L Wright

Multimedia Editor

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