Bonita Cheung has designs on eye-catching paper dresses

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 October, 2008, 12:00am

Fashion maker Bonita Cheung Kit-man has designed with all kinds of materials - saffron, satin and even diamonds - but never paper. That is until she was approached by French fine paper distributor Antalis at an event last week.

Cheung joined several other artists, including Sin Sin Man, who made a paper handbag while demonstrating the versatility of the Skin Curious Collection of paper products at the Mira hotel. Hmmm, sounds like a Project Runway challenge. Cheung (pictured above centre) explained her eye-catching collection of four couture paper dresses took about two months to create, where usually the process might take only two weeks. Given that it's a tearable material for clothes, she had to be extra careful.

'After making sketches and patterns, I started making the dresses with the sewing machine,' Cheung said. 'As I sewed, the machine's pin was making a dotted line just like those on a raffle ticket. Since the paper was much crisper than other materials, I had to be extra careful to avoid it being torn or ripped. Also, the paper was a lot stiffer than fabric so it could not be turned easily on a sewing machine. Basically, half of the collection was actually done by hand and that's why it took so much longer.'

Of course, it's also not recommended to wear them on rainy days. Cheung's paper dresses will be displayed at Harvey Nichols from Saturday.