This Fold Thing



Classic origami but with trendy results

Ever since sharp creases and paper crane motifs appeared up in Dior’s Spring 2007 couture show, origami themes have been showing up into runway collections everywhere. From Calvin Klein’s soft geometries for Spring 2009 to the ladylike constructions at Valentino, there’s a full-on origami trend unfolding (pun intended) in fashion. But things get even more interesting as they come full circle, and the influence of paper folding in fashion re-emerges as fantasy clothing fashioned out of paper. Enter the work of stylist and art director Petra Storrs.


Petra Storrs has a thing for paper, as evidenced by her body of work. Among other things, she’s created charming paper props for various photo shoots and even directed a short paper animated sequence with performer Paloma Faith (see the video here). But these outfits from her editorial with photographer Rai Royal ( take paper folding one step further. Craft, style and creativity merge in a way that blurs the line between fashion and art, for one of the most original manifestations of the origami trend that I’ve seen. Looking at a sheet of paper has never felt so full of art and fashion potential!

paper designs: Petra Storrs photos: Rai Royal styling: Justine Josephs images © Rai Royal & Petra Storrs

Of course, none of us will be making a trip to the supermarket to buy cereal in one of these fantasy frocks anytime soon. But you can tap into the zeitgeist and use it as inspiration, and find simpler ways to emulate the look and feel without being over the top. Bring the trend home with a bit of Do It Yourself initiative. And instead of a folded frock, let’s dress up a present with a classic origami lotus for a ribbon.

I love how the folds are enhanced by the black and white printed patterns of the papers, and I’ve got the perfect material in mind here at Kate’s Paperie: gorgeous Yuzen papers in various monochromatic prints. There are black and white patterns to match those in the photos above, but you can use any combination that you feel suits the look you’re going for. We also have Yuzen-wrapped boxes available at any Kate’s Paperie store (you can even have them wrapped to order), so you can mix or match. To emulate the look in the photo story above, I chose two similar but different black and white patterns, for a nice tonal mix.

A quick internet search yielded this easy-to-follow instruction video for folding a classic 3-dimensional origami lotus flower. Yuzen papers are a little heavier, so they’re best suited to larger lotuses, since these babies require a lot of layered folding. I have to say, I’ve never folded one of these before, but with a little bit of practice, I’m now churning out lotuses with ease. The beauty of internet video is that if need be, you can always rewind to follow the steps. Here’s one of the best demos I found:

Yuzen Boxes

Looks pretty doesn’t it? And it took me all of 15 minutes to do. The intricate folds combined with the rich patterns is almost more than enough to decorate any gift, but I decided to use strips from the white border of the Yuzen sheets to add some simple pleated fans for a bit of contrast. Now I have a gift that’s not only pretty, but pretty fashionable too!

For more on Petra Storrs, visit her website at And for our Yuzen papers and covered boxes, visit any Kate’s Paperie store, or see our assortment of papers by clicking here.

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George G., Creative Director At Large, is a New York-based art director whose work spans everything from store display to interactive media. Also an accomplished artist, his illustrations have been published and exhibited in various galleries in New York. Being a self-professed design junkie, he is constantly on the lookout for what’s new and fresh in the worlds of art and design.

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