A Paul Poiret c. 1911 tunic and the daily newspaper--what do they have in common? At first, the relationship between a haute couture creation and the local newspaper might seem almost non-existent, however, both are communicative devices that convey information to an observant reader. The text of the newspaper (either online or printed) is read to obtain the latest political news, sports scores, weather and cultural commentary. An outfit, whether haute couture or ready-to-wear, can be read for specific information about the wearer along with more general information regarding the place and time in which it is worn.
Clothing constructed from actual paper, sometimes even newsprint, is most often associated with the late 1960s paper dress trend and late 19th/early 20th century fancy dress costumes. This 1966-69 Wastebasket Boutique paper dress is printed with a collage of advertisements and phone book listings. To learn more about the history and context of late 60s paper dresses, read our Would you believe it's paper? blog post.