ZOE’S DRESS TO IMPRESS
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.
Zoe Bradley with her paper dress.