Not currently on display at the V&A

Dress

1966 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In 1966, Scott Paper Company invented the paper dress, intended as a marketing tool. For one dollar, women could buy the dress and also receive coupons for Scott paper products. It wasn't an invention meant to be taken seriously, but women surprised the company by ordering half a million of these dresses in under a year.

The paper dress trend took off and companies began to experiment with style and fabric, adding other materials to the paper to make a sturdier garment that could even be washed. Mars Manufacturing Company invented a wide range of paper dresses, from a basic A-line style to a paper evening dress to a full paper wedding gown, all for under 20 dollars. Other companies followed suit, inventing such things as paper slippers, paper suits and waterproof paper raincoats and bikinis. There was even a paper dress invented that grew herbs when water was added. In their short history, paper dresses became more stylish than the original, patterned with 1960s psychedelic prints. Some paper dresses were sold that could be decorated by the consumer. Even Andy Warhol got in on the trend, creating a design based on his famous Campbell's soup can print.
The repeating printed pattern on the present dress was derived from Op art and highlights the interaction between art and fashion. This dress was
won in a fashion magazine competition but never worn.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Printed bonded fibre paper
Brief Description
Bonded fibre paper dress, made by Scott Paper Company, United States, 1966
Physical Description
Bonded fibre paper dress with a repeating black and white op art printed pattern.
Dimensions
  • Outer cape length: 102cm
  • Inner waistcoat length: 60cm
Style
Gallery Label
1. DRESS Made by the Scott Paper Company, U.S.A., 1966 Bonded fibre 'paper', printed Bequeathed by Audie Bancroft T.30-1992 Paper clothes enjoyed a brief vogue from 1966-8 and were marketed as the ultimate in disposable, expendable fashion. This dress was made by the Scott Paper Company to promote a new range of serviettes. The company received 500,000 orders for it. Its repeating printed pattern was derived from Op art and highlights the interaction between fine art and fashion. This dress was won in a fashion magazine competition but never worn.
Credit line
Bequeathed by Audie Bancroft
Object history
Registered File number 1992/122.
Summary
In 1966, Scott Paper Company invented the paper dress, intended as a marketing tool. For one dollar, women could buy the dress and also receive coupons for Scott paper products. It wasn't an invention meant to be taken seriously, but women surprised the company by ordering half a million of these dresses in under a year.



The paper dress trend took off and companies began to experiment with style and fabric, adding other materials to the paper to make a sturdier garment that could even be washed. Mars Manufacturing Company invented a wide range of paper dresses, from a basic A-line style to a paper evening dress to a full paper wedding gown, all for under 20 dollars. Other companies followed suit, inventing such things as paper slippers, paper suits and waterproof paper raincoats and bikinis. There was even a paper dress invented that grew herbs when water was added. In their short history, paper dresses became more stylish than the original, patterned with 1960s psychedelic prints. Some paper dresses were sold that could be decorated by the consumer. Even Andy Warhol got in on the trend, creating a design based on his famous Campbell's soup can print.

The repeating printed pattern on the present dress was derived from Op art and highlights the interaction between art and fashion. This dress was

won in a fashion magazine competition but never worn.
Collection
Accession Number
T.30-1992

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record createdMarch 20, 2008
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