paper route to fashion, 1953-1968
Bonnie Cashin's Paper-Route to Fashion
(press release written by Bonnie Cashin, 1965)
Bonnie's involvement with paper began in 1953, by falling in love
with a paper bag. Journeying from her studio up the Hudson, where
she worked, to her New York apartment, the big paper bag, full of
drawings, swatches, etc., became almost a trademark. As there weren't
pretty ones to buy then, she made special ones for herself out of
bright papers. (A few years later she made them in leather, and you
know how contagious those became!)
The paper bag led to a whole series of experiments . ideas for all
kinds of accessories, for men's, women's, and children's clothing,
for industrial uses, and all sorts of things for modern living. The
probe progressed on two levels, A . Designs to wear and use to solve
the problem of freedom from a certain kind of slavery . washing and
cleaning. The objective was honest function, basic as a bag . pin-money
cost . good color, texture and shape . really throw-away chic. B .
The second level of experiments was paper simply used as an interesting
creative medium in itself . disposability not the objective . let
price fall where it may . let the concepts make their own fashion
statement in a fresh way.
Exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts' "Made With Paper"
show are several prototypes of Bonnie's designs for this second level
of experiments. One is a tufted paper coat, conceived for cold weather
insulation. Another, a tunic, is made not of real paper, but a paper-like
non-woven stuff, and it's hand-knitted. There are several fold-flatable
knitted head-gear for fun and sun times, and one folded paper board
hat that is meant to be disposable.
Never a buttons-and-bows gimmick girl, the first level of concepts,
Bonnie feels, must be implemented by new machinery and techniques
in order to function in a valid way and prove practical for marketing.
One of the several problems not quite yet conquered is the proper
heat-sealing techniques. Bonnie feels confident it will come . that
the imaginative designer can be the catalyst between the huge paper
industry and technology to make new things for tomorrow's living all
come true. As Bonnie says ".almost anything can happen . it's all
(This is exclusive to you in your city . tearsheet, please?)
route to fashion, 1953-1968