A paper dress may not be the right outfit choice for rainy weather, but Greek artist Mirto Dimitriou’s signature origami fashion, which includes clothes, jewelry and paper accessories, is not only original but also eco-friendly. The young artist from Thessaloniki wants to send a message to support recycling and the need to search for and use environmentally conscious materials.
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency recently, Dimitriou explained how the idea of a paper collection was born and how the desire to make paper handbags originated.
“When we are talking about paper, the imagination does not stop. You cannot imagine what one can do by folding newspapers and magazines. I always discover new things. I have made earrings and jewellery and now I have just finished a paper dress,” she said, though noting that her creations can only be worn in specific weather conditions.
“Each paper project needs different preparation time. First, there is the planning, followed by folding. Because, as we are dealing with paper, the creases may not be done properly, so it needs to be refolded and done again. It can take from a week to a month, especially when we are talking about a dress,” explained the artist, who started it all when she won a scholarship to the US to attend seminars on origami.
“My first paper dress,” she added, “is white, it has the same folds everywhere and its length reaches the knee. It took twenty days of folding, hundreds of folds and creases, to get its final shape and to be worn.”
How the art of origami meets eco-friendly fashion
For Dimitriou, origami is a ritual, something she loves and has a passion for. The art of folding to create something three-dimensional, like a dress, from a piece of paper is magical. In fact, she has already designed ten dresses of which three are almost completed. Without sewing machines and yarns, the young artist has also created folded-paper accessories and bags and she is preparing to showcase her work in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Her goal is to come up with something that will be useful and functional, and “bring to life” materials we thought were useless. She wants to send the message that old things typically considered useless can be given a new lease on life.
Dimitriou is the first Greek to get a diploma in teaching origami and holding two Guinness world records for her creations: one for a White Paper Tower and the other for a huge paper owl. “These are two very important successes that have made origami even more popular in our country, as 10,000 people participated in the first case and 20,000 in the second case in 2014,” she said. They even had special folding and preparation lessons for the participants,” she explained.