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Top Trends in 2017: Paper Play

The final installment in our trends series features some of the most impressive and artistic paper art you’ve ever seen. Headpieces, flowers and even dresses shun traditional materials in favor of pretty, pretty paper.

In 2009, Karl Lagerfeld shared his Chanel collection on the runways, saying that he’d “started with a clean sheet of paper.” It was almost a literal translation since his designs that season featured clean cut silhouettes and a great deal of intricately designed paper flower tiaras, feathers and leaf fronds on each model. The runway scene itself was laden with oversized paper florals, laser-cut paper cloths and more—which were reportedly cut and scissored by Katsuya Kamo, a Japanese hair stylist and makeup artist, and his team. “I actually incorporated paper flowers into my floral designs eight or nine years ago,” says Jordan. “It wasn’t long after the Chanel fashion show featured paper flowers that the trend took off!”

Photo courtesy of Catherine Wales

Photo courtesy of Catherine Wales

Photo courtesy of Chanel, spring/summer 2009 runway

Photo courtesy of Chanel, spring/summer 2009 runway

Photo and design by Corina Sternberg

Photo and design by Corina Sternberg

Photo courtesy of Elsa Mora

Photo courtesy of Elsa Mora

Photo courtesy of Katsuya Kamo for Chanel

Photo courtesy of Katsuya Kamo for Chanel

Design by Pratt Institute and Ralph Pucci for Macy's

Design by Pratt Institute and Ralph Pucci for Macy’s

Now the intricate, detail-oriented trend is gracing designs from popular laser-cut invitation suites to floral accents and gorgeous laser-cut fabrics, gowns and even shoes.  “We do a lot of intricate laser cut details with invitations,” says Jordan.  “I would love to see this carried out in more aspects of weddings—especially when it comes to decor like altar designs and walls as well as centerpieces.”

Photo courtesy of Xu Ming

Photo courtesy of Xu Ming

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

There are many talented designers who cater to the bespoke trend, like Zoe Bradley, an established and talented paper sculpture artist and designer. She first discovered her passion for the art while hand pleating a custom paper dress for Japanese fashion designer Michiko Koshino. Now, she spends her time tailoring, folding, cutting and stitching paper into unbelievable works of art. More recently, she’s incorporated digital technology and laser cutting methods to produce even more elaborately complex designs for exhibitions, installations and fashion-oriented showpieces.

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley, window display design for Tiffany & Co.

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley, window display design for Tiffany & Co.

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Photo courtesy of Zoe Bradley

Jordan can’t wait to challenge the boundaries of imagination with artistic paper configuration in future events.  “I would love to create complete centerpieces out of paper as well as a complete inside build-out of a ballroom or tent,” she says.  “How amazing!”  With ever-advancing technology and creative geniuses at the helm, the Paper Play obsession promises to be a clear (and laser cut!) trend to stay.