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Beauty, Fashion, Irony and Tiny Scissors

7000 flowers, 4800 back-breaking hours, and something ludicrous like 4000sq meters of paper.


Being one of the least fashionable people in existence, I can’t say I pay a whole lot of attention to what’s happening in the fashion world (though lord knows it might be helpful!). I did stop dead in my tracks a few weeks back while noodling around online, when I came across photos from the Chanel Spring/Summer ’09 show.

Of course, I don’t recall a darn thing about the clothes, but I do recall the incredible display of monochromatic handmade flowers and foliage.

AMAZING. 7000 flowers, 4800 back-breaking hours, and something ludicrous like 4000sq meters of paper.

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Truly an incredible work of art right?

Well about 30 seconds into my appreciation of this feat, the irony hit me like a bad enchilada: Did we (as a society…not you or I personally) actually chop down trees to make artificial foliage? Granted I know none of the details about the paper used. I would really be interested in knowing: What type of paper was it? Did it have have any post-consumer waste content? Was it bleached? How was the waste paper disposed of? What happened to the paper once the show was over?

Am I being unreasonable if I cannot just enjoy the pure creativity and beauty without wondering about the cost (to the planet)? Is it bad that I can’t just sit back and appreciate all the scissors-wielding and oh-dear-god the paper cuts it took to make this? As in awe as I am of the craftsmanship and creative genius behind these creations, I can’t seem to stop thinking about the consequence side of the equation, and what it says about our perception of beauty and value.

(Bear in mind that this may have been done with all recycled materials in a super responsible way…I’ve just not found any info that addresses these concerns).

Oh, and in case you were wondering if I picked up any fashion tips from the show, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve recreated that head-piece from the first photo…but mine is made entirely of macaroni.

Susan Isaacs

Susan’s a multitask-er who prides herself on the vast number of things (read: loose papers and coffee cups) on her desk at any one time, and yet she still manages to keep an eye on all the moving parts at Paragon.

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