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Paper dress

Paper dress

  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1967 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wastebasket Boutique by Mars (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Audie Bancroft

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Paper dresses were a brief but spectacular 1960s sensation. They were cheap, and the simple 2-D shape was ideal for the bold graphic prints that were so fashionable. Paper manufacturers in the USA predicted that disposable clothing would transform the clothing industry, but in practice, most paper garments creased and tore too easily. High street fashions in conventional fabrics were changing every week, and were at affordable prices too, and the novelty of paper dresses soon wore off.

The distinctive design on this dress is reminiscent of the work of the nineteenth century artist Aubrey Beardsley. In 1966 the V&A held an exhibition of Beardsley's work which influenced many fashion and textiles designers in 1960s London.

Physical description

Dress made of printed paper, and with a bold swirling floral design in black and gold on a cream ground.

Place of Origin

United States (made)


ca. 1967 (made)


Wastebasket Boutique by Mars (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper

Object history note

Registered File number 1992/122.
This dress is unlabelled. However, a visitor to the Museum website has sent details of an identical dress in her possession which bears the above label.

Descriptive line

Dress made of printed paper, probably designed by Wastebasket Boutique by Mars, United States, ca. 1967.


Paper (fiber product)



Subjects depicted



Fashion; Women's clothes


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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