Sustainable fashion takes on a whole new meaning at the Paper Couture Exhibition (PCE) happening right now until May 20 at Oakridge Centre.
Running for the six year, PCE showcases 24 handcrafted gowns — created by students in the Design Formation program at Langara College — made from a variety of recyclable white or brown paper, tissue, tapes, glue, spray paint, adhesives, paper twine, coffee filters, cardboard, string, thumbtacks, and other raw materials.
“These paper-made gowns are truly remarkable,” said Bonney Rempel, senior marketing director at Oakridge Centre. “The couture pieces were all inspired by famous fashion designers such as Versace, Alexander McQueen, Paolo Sebastian, Dior, Gucci, Zhang Zhifeng for Ne Tiger, and the late Karl Lagerfeld with Chanel. Our Oakridge guests are in for a real treat.”
Over a period of two years, the program teaches the technical and conceptual aspects of design in both 2-D and 3-D applications. It covers a broad array of disciplines allowing graduates to go on to pursue specialized studies in fields like graphic design or architecture, or find entry level employment in areas including visual merchandising and display, event planning, interiors, exhibit, and communication design.
Langara instructor Kevin Smith, said he was impressed by the innovation and attention to detail demonstrated during the four-week assignment using only modest supplies.
“The students experiment and explore couture fashion history, and they problem solve to find solutions and techniques to work with a variety of everyday and common materials to re-create these haute couture gowns as paper sculptures,” said Smith.
One standout, by Oona Forrester, is an interpretation of the infamous “Swan Dress” worn by Björk at the 73rd Academy Awards.
“I wanted the dress I chose to be a statement piece, easily recognizable, something that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and can be enjoyed as entertainment,” said Forrester.