Langara College Design Formation Instructor, Kevin Smith (left) poses with student Jenny Eng, 23, (right) and her brown couture dress (Photo by Kieran O’Connor/Black Press)

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

Twenty-two haute couture dresses are on display at a Vancouver mall as part of a Langara College design program. But you won’t find any silks, velvet or tulle.

Instead, students in the college’s design formation program were assigned to re-create haute couture gowns out of different forms of paper, such as coffee filters, paper bags, tissue paper, and cupcake liners. And of course, plenty of tape.

“[The assignment] utilizes the students’ own historical fashion research, as well as exploration using the design process of iterations and project planning, along side trial and error with the materials and techniques they devise to mimic the original dress,” said instructor Kevin Smith.

“This isn’t fashion,” he added. “This is about design thinking, design process, management as well as the exploration of materials.”

The two-year program focuses on the design process and preparing students for fields such as visual merchandising, graphic design and interior design.

“Not only is it figuring out how you’re going to emulate the satin, or the velvet, or the pleats, or the embroidery,” Smith said. “They have to break all of those things down into components, but they also have to look at their time management and that’s huge in project management.”

This is the fifth year the program has displayed their paper couture exhibition. It will be on display at the East Galleria of Oakridge Centre in Vancouver until March 27.

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