ADCD's Paper Fashion Show 2013 Winners

/ Comments (15)

We've never participated in creating one of these masterpieces, but we definitely respect the people who find a way to turn paper into this. Photos taken and provided by Randall Bellows III.

1st Place: Barry Brown
Designer: Barry Brown
Model: nxt|MODEL Sarah Schriver

2nd Place: Escape
Designers: leana Hills & Robyn Winters
Model: Christina Kennedy

3rd Place: Karsh Hagan Merbirds
Designers: Karen Hofmeister
Model: Camille King

Best Accessory: Birds of a Feather
Designers: Susan Wiens,Kari Wiens, Christina Perry
Model: nxt|MODEL Kelly Simon

Best Student: The New-Bees
Designers: Sophia Rase, Christina Patzman,Don Rase, Barbara Rase, Travis Rase, Gina Comminello, Alex Sternberg
Model: Carly Travis


The other designers for Karsh Hagan were Karen Heydman and Valerie Hawks.

It’s sad that the winning design by Barry Brown had nothing to do with the paper. His design violated nearly every rule. The entire dress, except for the small top portion, was made from fabric and then covered with small paper discs or sequins. The star and fan structure was made from heavy gauge wire and simply wrapped with small strips of paper and adorned with paper stars. The rules clearly state that you can use wire only as a fastener, not to make the entire structure. This was like a Thanksgiving Day float. As for the cloth dress, this is a paper fashion show. The goal is to put the designers to the test and see what they can make using nothing but paper. Anyone can take a cloth outfit and cover it with paper dots, or strips, or patches, etc. The rules clearly state that you can only use 10% of another paper product. It doesn’t even address the fact that you can’t use a cloth outfit and cover it with paper, that’s a given unless you’re a moron. Even with the 10% rule, the entire dress was cloth, way more than 10%, actually 50% of the lower half. What’s even worse is that the technical judges knew this. We were standing right there when they judged the outfit. They felt the dress, asked if it was cloth, and the model admitted that it was. I guess the rules don’t apply to Barry Brown. It was obvious that the show revolved around him and his rule breaking outfit. That’s why they held it to the very last and had the model take the extra time to parade around. It’s a miracle that she was even able to do so after she passed out back stage shortly before she took the stage. She succumb to the weight of the metal framed backpack structure and hit the floor hard. Fortunately she had a young man remove the frame before she toppled over. She was able to sit there on the floor and recover comfortably in her cloth dress which didn’t crumble or tear as any other paper outfit would have. It’s a shame that the cheaters always win. This certainly doesn’t say much for the people who organize and put on this event. If you’re going to set rules then you should make people follow them. Your complacency ruins such events for everyone who really tries and follows the rules…

One more comment about the other winning designs. Even the student winner design violated the rules, at least in years past. The model wore a hoop skirt made from PVC tubing and cloth straps to hold it together. The show has always been about the paper, and what the designers could do with it, and it ALONE. Such a hoop skirt would have had to be made entirely from paper in the past in order to pass inspection and not be disqualified. I guess anything goes these days and the rules don't apply. That's a shame in my opinion. The only true challenge for this event has become who can break the rules the most and still get away with it. Too bad...

I have been a designer and competitor for the past 4 years and I totally agree with Anonymous and the above comments! It is quite disheartening when you put in hundreds of hours making sure that your design is totally out of paper, know the paper products and sponsors, techniques, figured out the best glue and fasteners only to have the Judges not even ask about these things. This is the 2nd year that the frame harness has won! Not even close to following the rules!!
As a designer and competitor it makes you want to quit the "Paper Fashion Show" all together. But, we don't, because as designers we have a need to design and compete.

I hold the ADCD Paper Fashion Show Committee at fault.
IF you make RULES, Judge to the RULES!

I am a seamstress and know anyone can cover a fabric garment with paper! Now, try to make a dress out of paper and have it form fitted, move, flow, not rip or fall apart. That takes talent and design.

I am not a "Poor Looser" because I am one of the designer/artists that received the "Best Accessory Award." And, YES, everything is made completely from paper! Her panties are Paper! Yes, they were torn by the end of the night. We painstakingly made short paper tubes and then cut them to form the frame of the bird cage. We then stuffed each tube with paper to keep the shape and give it enough strength. We spent hours and hours and many blisters later, hand cutting the scroll work lace for the bodice. We used the original paper that we were signed up to use (Thank you Cordenon's Paper, Boutique So Silk). Each bird is entirely out of paper, from the body base to each hand cut and curled feather! We used quilling techniques for the necklace, which alone took about 8 hours! We rolled paper beads for flowers and scrolls. If you immersed our finished design in water it would completely melt into paper pulp!
Ask most of the designers who entered this years Paper Fashion Show and past shows and they too will tell you of their disappointment in the Judging.

Judges should have the experience of making their own paper fashion to know the work, techniques, time and talent it takes so that they could judge fairly. Also,let us (designers) know the criteria and how many points for each area of design.

The Committee/Event Coordinators had told everyone in an e-mail contract of the rules: "Rule #6) Your dress must be at least 90%paper. That includes props accessories, (Judges always love some good paper props), adhesive, tape, structural supports, and other methods of building and securing designs. If you have questions about what falls under this category, please reach out to us at least one week prior to the show. A Technical Judge(s) will review all designs. If he/she deems the design to have more than 10% non-paper materials, the design will be disqualified. The judge's decision is final and cannot be contested."

Well done to all those Incredible Designers out there that used PAPER!

Shame on you, ADCD!

Susan Wiens

First I would really like to say how amazing all the dresses were. It was my first time attending (and volunteering as an Usher) at an ADCD show and was blown away by all the dresses created and the effort each designer put into their work. However, where I understand the frustration of the designers who did make their entire dress out of paper, I also think to "shame the ADCD" is just silly.

The entire show is run by volunteers and people who equally put in as many painstaking voluntary hours to create an event for people such as yourself's to participate in. Did you enjoy your work? Did you have a blast creating your piece of art? Good, then leave it at that and stop pointing fingers at people. Instead, suggest ways to improve the show instead of "shaming" the group of people who were nice enough to volunteer their own personal time to create an event for you to showcase our work. I am by no means trying to start a fight but I think respect is deserved on both ends and instead of venting on a public forum - simply make productive criticism and suggestions of ways to improve.


Michael, being a volunteer is entirely different than competing in a contest. If there are rules then they need to be honored and enforced by the "technical judges" that are assigned to such a task. There wouldn't be technical judges if nobody cared about the rules. Designers put hundreds of hours into their fashions. A vast majority of this time is spent trying to figure out how to make a wearable outfit using nothing but paper. That's the entire purpose of the competition. Last year the second place winner was later disqualified because they copied a design from a famous well know fashion designer. This was a rule that was broken. So why are some rules enforced while others are ignored. And why would the most important rules be ignored? This is a paper fashion show. Anyone can take a cloth outfit and stick some paper on it, or weld some wire into a float like structure and wrap some paper around it. The problem with not enforcing the rules is that everyone who attended the competition this year will possibly try to bend or break the rules next year in order to be more competitive, and the following year will be even worse, and eventually there will be no rules. It's truly sad to see some people get special privileges and rewarded for doing the wrong thing. The fact remains that everyone's hard work, from the designers, judges, sponsors, ushers, etc., is diminished when some people are allowed to shatter the rules. As for stating this publically, perhaps someone who can change things and fix the problem will take notice. You can call and complain to those in charge and get the typical run around. If enough competitors who are equally upset about this travesty will reply then perhaps those in charge will be forced to take notice. Or they could just ignore the complaints and do nothing. The choice is theirs.

I bet Barry Brown would love for you to go check out his dress before you start throwing stones. The man is damn good at what he does and it's about as low as you can get to slander his work without 100% proof to back up everything you are saying.

And if you got such an issues with ADCD, why don't you volunteer then? Bitching anonymously PROBABLY won't solve the anything.

Just a thought!

Well Anonymous (which, if this is such a hardship for you, maybe you should voice your opinions to the actual committee instead of "anonymously" doing it from behind a keyboard on a form),

It's actually NOT a competition. You said it yourself - it's a Paper fashion SHOW. The point of this entire "competition", as you put it, is to raise money for DAVA (

The Art Directors club uses what money they can to pay for the venue and whatever other expenses come from it and then donate the rest to DAVA. And I am a designer and do understand the irritations of people being "exceptions to the rules" But these people who volunteer their time to help make this experience possible for you Designers who enter is just as important as the designers in the show. I'm in no way de-valuing the work and efforts of the Designers (as I clearly said before). However, Without the volunteer work of the ADCD you wouldn't have a show to "Compete in" so please save the "We had it harder" crap. people (not myself - I was simply an usher and showed up for a few hours to help) spent their evenings, weekends, and lunch hours putting together this show. If you really felt it was such an "injustice" for this money raising show to nominate someone who's dress wasn't entirely made of paper, then again voice it to the appropriate people and not anonymously behind a keyboard. You're by no means trying to improve you're just looking for a place to complain about it. I'm sure the ADCD would love to hear ways of improving as long as it's courteous and professional.


In regards to the comment about throwing stones and checking Barry Brown’s dress, etc. I was there, I did check the dress, I touched the fabric underneath the paper sequins myself, I know others who were there and checked the dress, I spoke with the young man who helped the model back stage with the extremely heavy metal frame backpack structure, who also saw the cloth dress up close, I know the people who were standing right next to the technical judges as they felt and commented on the dress being made of cloth and the model admitting that it was, and on, and on, and on. I can’t emphasize enough that this is about the rules. No one is questioning the amount of work that goes into putting on the show, or how much work the volunteers do, and so on. I think that goes without saying and nobody is discrediting them. They are not responsible for the problem at hand. As for me remaining anonymous, that’s because I don’t want any kind of retaliation towards the designer who I was supporting. As for addressing the ADCD directly, tell me where to contact them and I will. I have been on their website and found no contact information. Yes this a fashion show, but it is also a contest, that’s why they have trophies for the top three designs, the best accessory and the best student entry. I realize that some participants sign up with no intention at all of winning anything or competing in any way, but there are those designers who do take the competition aspect seriously. As for those designers you can’t help but feel sorry for them. They work so hard to create something spectacular, by following the clearly established rules, only to be beaten by an outfit that violates nearly every rule. I for one have no interest in the show. I only do it for the designer I represent. They take the competition aspect of the show seriously and do their very best to create something unique every year. When they stand before the technical judges and honestly present an outfit that conforms to all of the rules it’s hard for them to see someone win who did just the opposite. I know someone in the ADCD cares about the rules because they disqualified the second place winner from last year’s competition because they copied a dress that was created by a well known fashion designer, even though it was made entirely out of paper. As for being courteous and professional, I have made no rude or discourteous remarks about the ADCD or any of the volunteers who help put on the show. I have simply voiced a problem in hopes that the ADCD would do something to correct it. These blogs were to get responses, as they have. Perhaps the ADCD will take notice.

Thanks Anonymous for calling bullshit bullshit. When you do call bullshit, people don't like it. Hey, this smells a lot like Rosie Ruiz winning the Boston Marathon in 1980. And that is bullshit.

I felt the dress and inspected it after the model took it off after the show. It was less of a fabric and more of a synthetic or cotton mesh of sorts that individual dots of paper were glued on to.

In 2009, Philosophy won best of show for our peacock. We attached paper dots to our model. We had her wear a spanx body suit over her skin to make taking it off easier.. - instead of gluing the dots directly to her skin (which we could do and tried).. it was just easier for us. We still spent 100s of hours prepping and of course.. had the idea to make paper body paint out of the dots.. it was the only way we felt we could get the fluid movement desired. Barry achieved it with this year's entry.

I agree that it would be much harder to create his wings from last year and the stars this year without the use of the backpack and wire structure.. I've designed entries for the past six years. I know. I agree with the point that this a show.. not a competition. And Barry made that show level presentation. I touched and inspected it.. those were 1000s of tiny dots of paper.. the top was paper. I didn't consider the mesh net thing "fabric".. but it's most likely considered so..

Been thinking about what is 10% non-paper. The physical characteristics of the wire may not exceed volume of paper.. but without it, there's a lot more work to create the same look on stage. Perhaps, it's not about 10% as much (or in addition to) it should be about the integrity of the creation reliant on non-paper to create the design... the essence.. look or tone..

I liked XL Edge's creation. It was convertible. It had working (paper) wings that expanded. And was one of the few concepts that stood out (multi-cultural).


I think this thread is interesting. I thought on a creative level, Barry's wasn't the best, but structurally it was amazing. My understanding was that it was not fabric underneath, but rather a grid of thread that the paper "sequins" were glued to, allowing them to move easily creating a ripple effect like fabric (maybe it was lined???).

I was involved with the 3rd place dress. Our dress was at LEAST 95% paper. My understanding of the rules were that the dress was allowed to have 10% non-paper structural material. We sewed our paper skirt, so there was thread. We paper mached the corset, so there was flower and glue. Except for metal grommet details on the corset (which was lined with velvet because paper mache is not soft!) and a hoop in the bottom part of the skirt (because it was very big and heavy there was no other way to keep it up), it was all paper, and glue. I don't know how we would have made such a great looking and fitting dress without those little structural nuances that guaranteed our piece fit and stayed on our model.

I'm pretty sure the 2nd place dress was over 90% paper as well. We were backstage next to them and the fur piece on the dress was incredible! It was very finely shredded paper, and the gown was paper. So, 2 out of the 3 winners, and the best accessory (with awesome paper tubing making up the bird cage and beautiful hand cut detail) were well within the rules of 90% paper.

If Barry's was fabric, thats one thing and should definitely be looked at. But, if it was the thread grid, good for him! Thats genius! And it looked amazing from a structural standpoint.

First of all, congratulations to all the winners and contestants of this year's PFS, and thanks to the organizers and volunteers. It keeps getting better each year. I too examined and wondered about the winning design, but came to the conclusion that the dress (paper sequins on a cotton mesh) was at least 90% paper by weight for sure, and also by volume. Personally I thought it was outstanding and took the show to another level. The accessory was another matter and the use of wire was excessive, and I do wish wire/wooden/PVC frames would be disallowed specifically in the rules. However, the model could have worn just the dress and it still would have won, given the material-like quality of the fabric the designer created. I do agree with some of the other posts though...the rules need both clarifying and adhering to. The disqualification of the second-place 2012 design seemed reasonable based on lack of originality, but where do you draw the line? The winning design this year was a paper rendition of a drawing by Erte as shown in this video about the making of the dress
I wonder if adapting this print so literally to a dress and accessory is so very different from copying a dress made of fabric and rendering it from paper? For that matter, the Denver Art Museum piece was a literal interpretation of an existing form. I personally love originality, but because of the difficulty of judging this aspect, I do think moving forward it is best to not disqualify a piece because it is a paper rendition of an existing garment/structure/painting. I love this event for so many reasons but mostly because of how inspiring it is. Again, well done to all!

Damn cool Shiznit. Denver always represents. I cant imagine seeing one of these creations in person and being able to always speculate how it was made or thinking - oh even i could do that and my kindergartener and pull it of as easy as i had originally imagined it. It takes mad planning, no. No CIA secret unknown unwritten sets.

No dry eye included. Can't have a Cqql kid extracarricular competition to fulfil the mediocrity of rewarding everything with out the pretentous fakey perfect ect neck hangers and politics.

At least the commentary lacks information about the missing judges and volunteers imaginary pants of any material. Good Stuff! Trifling Tiffs.

The PFS is always inspiring. I wouldn't mind seeing further development and prior online involvement of all entries and video series etc.

As far as winning goes?! The first comment cracked me up as much as the alfred Neumann comment on the,' So, there are no scary black people anymore' editorial. And I am glad that they won first. As much as the rankings do it for me in these events. I am happy for her. Knowing that she is oc, always after being perfect pee Madonna in someone roses none paper shoes and emperor clothing, and that she manipulates it secretly to belittle an undermine people in town. I'm glad it makes her feel famous and most more perfect. It must be a hard position to look so good, be so perfect, and be so involved. Uhum...abusive scandal contriving contributes for self glorification...!


Not Jealous

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