The Art of… Paper

The Art of... Paper - Gucci Cut and Craft
Gucci Cut & Craft Project – The Jackie, The New Bamboo and The Stirrup

This past summer Gucci decided to ‘go-green’ in the windows of their New York City Flagship store on 5th avenue. On display were three of their most iconic handbags – The Jackie, The New Bamboo and The Stirrup – in massive form made entirely out of recycled paper (pictured below). This window display garnered so much attention that Gucci launched a Cut & Craft contest on their Facebook Page. I was so intrigued by this project that I had to have a go at it. Gucci provides the stencils for these three iconic styles leaving it up to the individuals to color and construct. I, however, couldn’t find my crayons so I decided to dedicate each bag to a different artist and use their work as the foundation for each mini purse (pictured above). The Jackie (far left) is constructed using Andy Warhol’s camouflage prints, The New Bamboo (middle), is made of patterns by Ellsworth Kelly and The Stirrup (far right) is the work of Chicago-based artist, Dzine. Click HERE to fashion your own minis and a chance to win a spot on the cover of the Gucci Facebook page.

The Art of... Paper - Gucci Flagship
Gucci Flagship Store, New York City

Gucci isn’t the only fashion house exploring the art of paper, however. One of John Galliano’s most celebrated collections while at the House of Dior was for spring/summer 2007 couture, in which he was inspired by origami, the art of paper folding. Just a few seasons later, Karl Lagerfeld constructed an oasis of paper flowers as the backdrop for his spring/summer 2009 Chanel couture show. Each look in the entirely black and white collection was paired with a paper headpiece, ranging from delicate tiaras to a helmet of paper flower petals (pictured below).

The Art of... Paper - SS09 Chanel Couture
Spring/summer 2009 Chanel Couture

Marc Jacobs is known for providing an ever-present bridge between art and fashion. In this instance, that bridge happens to be made of paper and was part of the fantastical set artist Rachel Feinstein dreamed up for Jacobs’ fall/winter 2012 show. Feinstein collaborated with the designer on the dreary, Tim Burton-esque set (pictured below) made entirely out of construction paper as the backdrop for his fall, Anna Piaggi-inspired collection.

The Art of... Paper - Marc Jacobs FW12
Fall/winter 2012 Marc Jacobs

Photographer and sculptor Thomas Demand is a pioneer in exposing the art of paper. Demand’s photographs (pictured below) are merely the byproducts of weeks spent constructing full-scale sets out of paper and cardboard. His work is extraordinary; especially considering the life-size environments he erects are immediately destroyed after a photo is captured. In the right hands, paper has the power to transform. Now that I’ve completed the Gucci bags it’s time to start work on my dream setting…

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Studio, 1997
Studio, 1997 © Thomas Demand

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Control Room, 2011
Control Room, 2011 © Thomas Demand

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Junior Suite, 2012
Junior Suite, 2012 © Thomas Demand

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  1. [...] in Karl Lagerfeld’s spring/summer 2009 Chanel couture show (previously referenced here, pictured below), models wore paper flowers atop their heads, morphing from delicate tiaras into [...]

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