Dress #055: 1950s ‘Petal’ cocktail dress in green. 2016
This hand-stitched green paper dress is based on the ‘Petal’ cocktail dress designed by British-born American designer Charles James in 1951. It is made from Japanese paper, with pale blue Mizutama watermark tissue laid over a pale shimmering green to imitate the silk of the original dress. Hand-embroidered lines imitate the seams and folds of the dress. It is stitched onto cold-pressed 100% cotton paper. The original dress is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (accession 2009.300.334).
Charles James produced some of the quintessential dress shapes of the 1940s and 1950s, and is considered by the Met to be the ‘only American to work in the true couture tradition’. I’m sure Betty Draper would have coveted his creations during the early seasons of Mad Men.
The dress is six inches tall, stitched by hand on 8x10 inch 100% cotton watercolour paper, which means that it will pop right into any commercial frame in that size, and be ready to hang on your wall.
Materials: Japanese papers and cotton floss on cotton paper.