Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Have you read the book, THE HUNDRED DRESSES by Eleanor Estes? Lois Slobodkin's beautiful watercolor illustrations echo the wistful tone of this classic story.  Never out of print since its 1944 publication, this tender story offers readers of all ages a timeless message of compassion and understanding. At its heart is Wanda Petronski, an immigrant girl in an American school, who is ridiculed for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. When she tells her classmates that she has one hundred dresses at home, she unwittingly triggers a game of teasing that eventually ends in a lesson for all.

Many of us, even as young girls, were drawn to beautifully made dresses, fancy frills, and fashion!  My first exposure to haute couture was probably from the Hollywood musical, FUNNY FACE, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. I'll never forget the shot of Audrey, descending the broad stone stairway at the LOUVRE MUSEUM in Paris, looking like the "Winged Victory" herself, arms extended above her head, with her red drape billowing behind her as she floated past the Greek goddess, NIKE. (Edith Head and Givenchy made quite a good team!)
Haute couture is French for "high sewing" and refers to custom-fitted and designed clothing, made to order for a specific customer.  I recently came across a different kind of couture: dress design as art, in the form of dress sculptures and paper dresses.
Here's a dress made out of phonebook pages, by Jolis Paons.
I love this miniature paper-cut, by Elsa Mora.
Here are two PAPER DRESS SCULPTURES done by Eloise Corr Danch for window displays...
Lady Dulcinea, Anthropologie Rockefeller Center Gallery, 2008
Ruffian Paper Doll, 2009 (photo, Geoff Green)

The train on this dress is made up of 1,000 paper cranes! (by Yuliya Krypo,
 made from recycled newspaper)
An ILLUMINATED gown from an exhibit of recycled fashion in Montreal...
This dress sculpture is made of book pages, milled paper,
typewriter parts, linen rope and binders.
Close up of details.
Author Claire Massey, in a fairytale PAPER DRESS, commissioned for Britain's Lancaster Literature Festival last October...

The "Word Dress", made entirely from the pages of books, was designed and 
hand crafted by Lancashire bridal designer, Jennifer Pritchard Couchman.

Inspired? Make your own newspaper dress like the one below! Click HERE for a step-by-step tutorial.

1 comment:

  1. I remember reading The Hundred Dresses. After all these years, I still remember the mix of emotions the story made me feel - wow, great memory jog. These paper dresses are amazing. They're like all the paper doll dresses we used to make coming to life.