Russian-based artist Asya Kozina was fascinated with traditional wedding dresses specific to certain ethnic groups. What she found more than the fascinating garments themselves was how the traditional wear was becoming less and less popular in an increasingly homogenized world. Old gown styles were being relegated to old photos of times past. She also noted that it was wedding clothing that “embodies the most specific characteristics of each national costume,” making them even more symbolic of the cultures they came from.

The gowns combine traditional elements with modern silhouettes.

To that end, she decided to recreate traditional gowns, in her own way, as wearable paper sculptures as a commemorative gesture. Kozina works with cut paper frequently, so creating dresses from paper, for her, was simply the next logical step. At the same time, using a delicate, ephemeral medium like paper also serves as a reminder that even ancient traditions don”t always last forever.

Each dress was designed around a live model, and feature exaggerated forms of traditional Mongolian wedding gowns. Typically, Mongolian wedding clothes, as well as everyday clothes, have bright, bold colors and patterns, but Kozina was more interested in the forms for this project. Plain white paper wouldn”t distract her (or viewers) from the form.

The white might also signal to Western viewers the nature of these garments as being associated with weddings. Along with the streamlined, stylized forms, it also lends the dresses a modern twist, perhaps a statement on how traditions are transformed over time.

Kozina”s other paper sculpture, including some non-wearable models of traditional wedding dresses, can be found on her site, as well as on Facebook.

Via My Modern Met