Fine artist Stephanie Smart founded The House of Embroidered Paper when she was inspired by a Sultan’s paper kaftan in an Istanbul museum. Decorated with sacred verses and prayers the kaftan was worn as a form of worship to alter the mindset towards devotion, but it also reminded her of a hospital gown.
“There was something symbolic in it both as a ritualistic item but also reflection of the fragility of human psyche and form. I see people as layered, collaged and constructed works of art. Each one of us wears a sheath of conscious/unconscious, patterned expression which is then read and interpreted by others. The idea that this could be displayed on wearable garments is what inspired my collection.”
Stephanie Smart’s collection revolves around embroidery, drawing and print on paper. A fashion house where each garment is constructed entirely from paper, thread and memory. Though all the pieces as artworks are intentionally beautiful, some of them also question our society’s constraints around beauty. “Whilst one side of the fabric we use to clothe ourselves touches our flesh and inner vulnerability, the other side is exposed to outer scrutiny,” she says.
This shoe design, Halcyon Nights, shows a kingfisher with his beak as the heel, piercing circles of water. To view more of her works visit her website
Photograph by Ray Sullivan