"I made the dress in fabric because I wanted to give the project more life," Jule Waibel told Dezeen. "It's a dress, so it's a shame if you can't sit on a chair or if you get slightly bruised wearing it – the models in my previous paper dresses know what I'm talking about. The paper is really light but stiff and edgy."
The Royal College of Art graduate designed the original paper dresses as part of her final student collection of "collapsible" fashion, transforming sheet materials into 3D objects.
Made from Tyvek, a lightweight, waterproof and tear-proof synthetic paper, the dresses each took 10 hours to create. Waibel was commissioned earlier this year to create 25 of them for clothing retailer Bershka.
Waibel said it was difficult to select a soft material that moves, concertinas and holds the pleats as well as the paper can.
"It was quite tricky to find the right fabric that still expands and contracts while you're wearing it, and keeps the big pleated geometric shapes," she explained.
In the end she chose a translucent chiffon fabric, which springs back into shape after distortion.
"I choose the translucent version as it shows the different layers and shadows, and creates a colour gradient on itself," said Waibel.
Four reusable paper moulds, two for the front section and two for the back, were used to sandwich the fabric while it is steamed to form the pleats. The sections are then sewn together to form the finished garments.
Waibel now plans to work with other fabrics and prints to extend the collection.
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