Preserving the Disposable: Conservation of a Paper Dress

Paper dress from the Atopos Collection Athens (registration number: 2006.02.235). Left: before conservation. Right: after conservation.

Paper dress from the Atopos Collection Athens (registration number: 2006.02.235). Left: before conservation. Right: after conservation.

The arts organization Atopos Contemporary Visual Culture in Athens, Greece, has collected more than 500 pieces of paper clothing, ranging from medieval Japanese examples to recent paper designs by Issye Miyake and Hugo Boss. The core of the collection, however, consists of paper dresses produced between 1966 and 1968, during the brief but widespread heyday of paper fashion (see Art in Print, Sept–Oct 2014).1 In conjunction with a 2013 exhibition at the Galerie Stihl in Waiblingen, Germany (an organization dedicated to works on paper), we restored one iconic example.2

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  1. See Stamos Fafalios and Vassilis Zidianakis, “ ‘Fragile,’ ‘Souper’ and POP! The Atopos Paper Fashion Collection” in Art in Print, vol. 4, no. 3 (September–October 2014), 14–17. []
  2. “Pap(i)er Fashion” (26 January 26–21 April, 2013). I worked on this conservation project as my senior project at the Studiengang der Konservierung und Restaurierung von Kunstwerken auf Papier, Archiv- und Bibliotheksgut at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Study Program of Conservation of Works of Art on Paper, Archives and Library Materials at the State Academy of Art and Design) in Stuttgart. []