At the Veritiv Paper Show in Chicago last autumn, design director Pooja Vukosavich was a keynote speaker on the topic “Paper Persona”. Her outfit draw just as much attention as the speech itself.
“I knew instantly that words alone couldn’t convey my ideas, so I decided to make my metallic paper jacket. The Midwest can be a little traditional, but this flamboyant fusion style, where metallic paper meets apparel, that’s very much me.
“The project took almost two months. I spent the first several weeks zeroing in on the garment design. Then I tried different origami and paper lantern-making techniques and experimented with different paper weights before settling on the fan folding technique. Over the next six weeks, I made scores of pleated parts. The final push, like any runway fashion show, was a non-stop 72-hour marathon. From Saturday morning to Sunday night, I hot-glued all the pleated fans to a handmade muslin base.
“The whole process was so meditative, I was lost in time. My husband asked why I had a smile on my face the whole time – that never happens when I’m working on my computer!
“I’ve always been interested in creating things with my hands. In art school I learned hand typesetting, plate making and pottery before choosing a major. Today, as work becomes more digital, it’s good to get back to creating things with our hands.
“I’m Indian and my culture celebrates ornate and historic things. These aesthetics are sometimes at work in my marketing and design projects but they’re always expressed in my choice of clothes and environment. So it’s no wonder I chose metallic paper as my ‘paper persona’ for the Veritiv Paper Show keynote presentation.”
TEXT: JOHAN LINDBERG PHOTO: STEVE EWERT