Paper Memories: garments of yesteryear made from paper at the Snibston Discovery Museum

By Richard Moss | 15 December 2010
a photo of a child's pink dress made from paper
© Felicity Austen
Exhibition: Paper Memories, The Fashion Gallery, Snibston Discovery Museum, Snibston, until May 15 2011

An unusual collection of more than 100 lifesize childrens' clothes made from paper is currently entertaining and puzzling visitors to the Fashion Gallery at Snibston Discovery Museum Leicestershire.

Painstakingly created during the past few years by fashion expert Felicity Austen, all the clothes are modelled on items of clothes made in Leicestershire between the 1940s and 1970s.

The unique collection includes ten pairs of paper shoes as well as paper dresses, shirts and even socks. None of them, of course, are meant to be worn.

a photo of a pair of child's red shoes made from paper
© Felicity Austen
“They each took hours to put together,” explains Austen. “I’ve used everything from tissue paper to wrapping paper to make them all. I’ve become something of a paperholic.

“I wanted to celebrate Leicestershire’s manufacturing industry, and the sewing and knitting skills of our mothers and grandmothers, skills that are sadly dying out among today’s generation.”

The collection is complemented by a nostalgic selection of paper artefacts, from Coronation memorabilia and old photos to school books and brown paper packages tied up with string.
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