Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Paper Couture

Outside of Spain most people are not familiar with Valladolid, so when asked about this wonderful province/city I typically respond that it is best known as the old capitol of Spain and the one place in the world where the best spanish is spoken. Apart from those two facts, I consider it to be one of the most charming and beautiful cities I've ever lived in or even visited. Filled with historical architecture and about 300,000 habitants, this city is oozing with culture; always an exhibition to see, or a new restaurant/bar to try.

This evening I visited an exhibition at the Teatro Zorrilla named Vestidos de Papel - Colección del Museo de Mollerussa, a.k.a 'Paper Dresses'. Never in my life have I seen such intricate hand work done with paper. As if sewing couture level dresses with fabric by hand wasn't hard enough, every pleat, embroidery, thread, and pearl was handmade with paper! These extravagant, and original dresses on display were entered in a paper dress contest that has been in the running for 45 years now, awarding fashionistas in categories such as period costumes, contemporary dresses, and fantasy dresses.

Every category has its merit, but I personally think it is far more interesting when a designer can achieve a wearable look made of anything but fabric. The dress that stole my gaze was the 2008 winner of the contemporary dress category; an outfit reminiscent of Chanel with perhaps a touch of Balmain.

By: Josefina Xufré Sirera Cerdanyola

I suppose the best part about making paper dresses is that it hardly costs you the price of using 'real' materials, but if this dress were to be realized in 'real' fabric and metal I would buy it in a heart beat (we'll go ahead and pretend it would NOT cost exuberant amounts of cash). Yet, how could one not appreciate this creation after careful observation of the delicate pleating?...

The other little wearable number I was impressed by (and with which my aunt fell head over heals in love) was this flower embellished dress...

By: Grupo de Arte Deltebre

At a first glance this piece looked like something they picked out of a local boutique and it is only when you get close that you begin to notice it is all paper.

Every detail is manipulated by twisting, turning, and cutting to trick your eye into believing it is fabric! I could really go on and on about every look I saw today, but instead of boring you I'll leave you with a couple more images and call it a day.

Period Costume category...

By: Joan Banyeras Alguaire

And fantasy category...

By: Concepción Arias Sanz

Inspiring, intimidating, and very impressive! Oh and huge 'by the way'... these dresses are all worn by real women during the competition.

The exhibition itself is reason enough for any fashionista to make a trip to Valladolid!

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