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Fragile fashion. The Paper Dress as Art and Visual Consumption

Chapter in book
Authors Viveka Kjellmer
Published in Transglobal Fashion Narratives: Clothing Communication, Style Statements and Brand Storytelling. Eds: Anne Peirson-Smith & Joseph H. Hancock II
Pages 237-252
ISBN 978-1-78320-844-9
Publisher Intellect
Place of publication Bristol
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Cultural Sciences
Pages 237-252
Language en
Keywords Fashion, Paper dress, Visual couture, visual culture, visual consumption, Bea Szenfeld, Annette Meyer, Virpi Vesanen-Laukkanen
Subject categories Art History, Design


A period gown from the 1800s, made of hand-wrinkled foral paper, a candy wrapper corset and a dress made from black streamers – what can objects like these tell us about identity and fashion consumption? Tis chapter discusses fashion as art in relation to its role as a cultural statement and means of expressing identity and contemporary issues such as responsible consumption and sustainability, by studying the work of three Scandinavian designers: Bea Szenfeld from Sweden, Annette Meyer from Denmark and Virpi Vesanen-Laukkanen from Finland. Their garments, created as works of art in perishable or discarded materials, explore fashion as visual expression in relation to concepts such as functionality and wearability. Paper dresses raise questions about consumption, durability and the ephemeral aspects of fashion. Based on a theoretical discussion of clothing as cultural artefacts, a number of artworks made from controversial materials are analysed in terms of what I call visual couture – fashion as visual communication – further strengthened by the staging of the collections as museum exhibitions in the public domain.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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