Watchword: imagination. The project by Nikki Nye and Amy Flurry are the result of top skills combined with the constant search for «beauty» in terms that are nearest to philosophical aesthetics. Not just simple wigs or masks, but real works of art that are highly appreciated in the world of fashion.
Any piece is hand-made and there is no piece identical to the other: up to 80 80 hours work for each piece reveal close attention attention to details, which is extremely appreciated in the world of fashion. Paper is the real protagonist on stage, like a Cinderella preparing to go to the ball: it is one of the humblest and simplest materials, which is surprisingly versatile and capable of keeping the shape much better than many other supports, as well as combining art and imagination with results that are highly appreciated even in the most sophisticated environments.
This is the Paper-Cut project www.paper-cut-project.com, conceived by Nikki Nye and Amy Flurry, i.e. two promising young women who had several experiences and contexts in common and had lots to tell each other: Nikki was the owner of a fashion boutique in Buckhead and Amy used to work as editor for a fashion magazine. Their collaboration was based on the transformation of simple sheets of paper into 3D figures, real characters of a theatre stage. The Atlanta-based duo established a unique link based on art and fashion, which has been able to receive orders from several fashion houses galleries all over the world, including Hermès, Cartier, Kate Spade and Valentino. A famous collaboration has recently been established with the Victoria & Albert Museum, for which the two artists created a collection of 16 wigs for them to exhibit Hollywood Costume.
When this idea was first conceived, it was a real novelty and had the merit to spread at the right time. Paper is not the only ingredient: the success of the idea also relies on imagination and above all desire for experimentation. This the exclusive interview with the artists.
How and when did the Paper-Cut-Project start?
«We have been working together for well seven years. Both used to work in fashion and discovered a reciprocal passion for theatre and imagination. So we tried to draw on our previous experiences to move together towards something new and fascinating. When we clarified and identified our idea, we decided to choose just one material to then keep it as simple as possible. And as Nikki worked paper at the arts school and was familiar with it, we chose paper, but opted for a more diverse and sculptural direction.»
Where is Paper-Cut-Project have based? Do you have a lab? How many people work there?
«Each of us has her own office at home, which has now become a big lab, with working tables everywhere. We work autonomously and with no external help, that is the way we like working. This is work that is made of long times and lots of passion.»
Art and fashion: how did you interpret fashion designers’ requests?
«It is certainly not easy to work with fashion designers as your customers and we knew what to expect, but every fashion house we have worked with had a clear concept in mind and gave us a precise path to follow. And we have always been confident that our vision was in line with theirs. There has always been a constant exchange of ideas and communication to verify that we were aligned.»
How many wigs did you create and where did you draw your inspiration from?
«All our collections are online in the website dedicate section on Projects and, if you count them all, there are over 100 wigs. For our first project we contacted a boutique in our town, Jeffrey, to submit a first idea that was quite elaborated. And it was them who encouraged us to design wigs that could have a high art potential and could be easily shipped everywhere in the world. And that could enhance the dummies in clothes’ shops.»
What techniques do you use to process paper?
«Our tools consist of hundreds of sharp blades, glue and, of course, paper. Before delivering our works, we apply a special treatment to paper that helps paper stiffen, seal and avoid colouring or yellowing over time. The use of glue, water or other applications produces results that go beyond flat and cut paper surfaces. This is particularly important when one uses white paper, because the shadows on the white give it a greater sense of depth to any piece and the various textures.»
How have you evolved over time?
«Our aesthetics has always been strongly unique and very easy to identify like us, that is why it has remained constant over time. Yet it is in our techniques, in the level of details we have been able to achieve, in the strength and shape of the underlying structure, that we have really had the chance to learn, grow and improve every time.»