Accessories Fashion

Paper Tigers: The Paper Cut Project

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By Diane Small

Paper fashion may be nothing new. In fact, there was an exhibition entitled RRRIP! in from the Atopos collection and  curated by Vassilis Zidianakis in Antwerp a few years ago, and there are several well-known designers, such as Tara Keens Douglas and Lia Griffith working with the material.

In fact, there’s even paper ‘makeup’ – Paperself is the wonderful label that created the dramatic paper lashes seen on the evil ‘capital’ gameshow hosts in the Hunger Games. But Nikki Nye and Amy Flurry, co-founders of the Paper-Cut-Project are doing new and unusual things with this humble fabric, and they’re undoubtedly two of the most talented -and patient- paper designers around.

Since 2009, the duo have been creating mainly elaborate headdresses from intricately cut sheets of paper.  The Atlanta-based partners’ combination of fashion and art has put them in demand with everyone from window dressers and beauty brands to other designers and museums.

Hermès, Cartier, Kate Spade and Valentino are but a few brands that have commissioned their work to supplement their own collections. Admired on the runways, in magazine editorials and art installations, these  paper sculptures cross over various disciplines: Nye and Flurry have been commissioned to create masks, headdresses and wall coverings by various clients, and the results are so striking that they also sell prints of their work as hangable, decorative art, to.

For us, a few pieces that particularly stand out are the paper wigs for the “Hollywood Costume” exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. We love the irony of how these elaborate, sky-high 18th century hairpieces fit for a Queen are actually made from the most basic of materials, all put together with a basic knife and some glue.

‘Paper is a highly underestimated medium,’ says Amy Flurry.’It’s versatile, inexpensive, and much more accessible and manageable than other materials like leather or wool, for example. Of course, it does have its drawbacks, especially when used for clothing. But there’s something noble about paper that draws me to it again and again.’

Indeed, the message behind the Paper Cut Project seems to be that the most incredible beauty often comes from the simplest of means.

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Diane Small

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