Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Art - Tanya MacNaughton

THERE was no time to waste when Lon­don­based sculp­tural artist Zoe Bradley was com­mis­sioned by enex100 to cre­ate one of her cou­ture pa­per dresses for the shop­ping mall’s fes­tive sum­mer cam­paign.

The re­sult, which took just un­der a month from start to fin­ish, is a 6m tall and 6m long dress fea­tur­ing 1700 gold metal­lic pa­per sakura flow­ers, each in­di­vid­u­ally placed on the struc­ture after be­ing shipped from the UK.

“I just had this vi­sion of an enor­mous blos­som­ing sakura dress and the idea of it wisp­ing through the atrium,” Bradley said.

“We haven’t at­tempted any­thing as big as this be­fore and it’s def­i­nitely been a feat of en­gi­neer­ing.

“Each flower has four lay­ers to it and each layer is folded 12 times, so that’s 79,000 folds, which is prob­a­bly a math­e­mat­ics ques­tion we could have done with work­ing out be­fore­hand.”

Orig­i­nally from Birm­ing­ham, the fash­ion de­signer grad­u­ated from Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity in 1997 be­fore work­ing with Alexan­der McQueen on his 1999 spring sum­mer col­lec­tion.

She be­gan us­ing pa­per art tech­niques such as die cut­ting, laser cut­ting, sculpt­ing and hand-folded origami in 2005 while mak­ing a show­piece for de­signer Michiko Koshino.

“We got such a tremen­dous re­sponse from the show with a stand­ing ova­tion and from there it snow­balled into com­mis­sions and Lib­erty’s (London) com­mis­sioned us to do their Christ­mas win­dows. A win­dow gives an im­me­di­ate au­di­ence and is almost like a cat- walk,” Bradley said.

Since then she has cre­ated pa­per de­signs for brands such as Louis Vuit­ton, Dior, Christian Louboutin and Har­rods.

“It’s been a crazy ride of trav­el­ling the globe but prob­a­bly the big­gest state­ment was in 2009 when we did global Christ­mas win­dows for Tif­fany and Co; that re­ally de­fined our place in the mar­ket, mak­ing five dif­fer­ent de­signs of fairy­tale win­dows,” she said.

“My heart is in fash­ion. I work very much like a fash­ion de­signer, but when peo­ple ask if we use other ma­te­ri­als the an­swer is no, we’re just ob­sessed with pa­per.”

Bradley’s dress is on dis­play along­side a large-scale gift box at enex100, Perth, un­til Jan­uary 31.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Zoe Bradley with her pa­per dress.

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