paper dress "Nixon"
paper dress "Nixon"
paper dress "Nixon"

paper dress "Nixon"

Unknown, Designer

Not Currently on View
Image Licensing

Paper clothes were a short-lived fad that lasted from 1966 to 1968. The Scott Paper Company introduced the first paper dress in 1966 as a promotional item and sold about 500,000 dresses. The success of the dresses was so phenomenal that many other companies started making them. The disposable dresses came in four sizes, and alterations and repairs were made with transparent tape. The hem could be adjusted simply with a pair of scissors.

A symbol of the throwaway culture of the '60s, paper dresses were marketed for mass consumption and were available in numerous styles and prints. By 1967, major department stores such as I. Magnin & Co, Lord & Taylor, and Altman's, were selling them.

Many of the dresses were printed in geometric, abstract motifs inspired by the Op art, Conceptual art and Pop art movements. Paper dresses unified art and fashion as they became part of the developing popular culture of the 1960s.

This A-line dress is constructed from four layers of very thin tissue-like paper bonded by pressure. All paper dresses were treated with fire-resistant chemicals and were not to be washed or dry cleaned, which would have made them flammable.

The paper dresses of the late 1960s were throwaways, often used in political campaigns and for advertising and other commercial uses.

Doyle New York sale 05CT01, Lot# 1107

Object Information

designer
Unknown
creation date
about 1968
materials
paper screen printed
dimensions
36-3/8 x 21-1/4 in.
mark descriptions
Label: "Waste Basket Boutique" by Mars of Ashville, N.C.
accession number
2005.36
credit line
Emma Harter Sweetser Fund
copyright
No Known Rights Holder
collection
Textile and Fashion Arts
colors

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