Jule Waibel recreates origami
paper dresses in chiffon

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Jule Waibel pleated dresses

German fashion designer Jule Waibel has turned her intricate pleated paper dresses into steam press templates for wearable fabric garments that expand and contract as the wearer moves.

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

"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."

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

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.

The pleated paper dress Waibel created for Bershka's Amsterdam store

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.

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

Waibel said it was difficult to select a soft material that moves, concertinas and holds the pleats as well as the paper can.

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

"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.

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

In the end she chose a translucent chiffon fabric, which springs back into shape after distortion.

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

"I choose the translucent version as it shows the different layers and shadows, and creates a colour gradient on itself," said Waibel.

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

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.

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

Waibel now plans to work with other fabrics and prints to extend the collection.

Jule Waibel pleated dresses

  • regina falangi

    Beautiful but… how to iron it?!?

  • Freddy Garcia

    The 60’s are back!

  • FRED

    Beautiful Jules!