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  • Liza

It looks like Fabric!

One of the most fun aspects of watching people approach my work for the first time is watching their faces when they realize the dresses are made of paper.

Making garments out of paper gives me such precision in the materials I use while also being one of my biggest challenges. I can draft the patterns, test and test with sample paper, but the outcome is often a surprise.

Paper will behave as it wants to, no matter the care of the cut or the strength of the adhesive. The final silhouettes of my dresses are often dictated by what the paper will and won't do.

Although at first I would wince at cutting up books, I have long since left that emotion behind as I believe I am giving them a new life when their future was bleak.

For many of my dresses, I've cut up books and pasted the pages onto newsprint to create large pieces of "fabric".

Once the patterns have been cut, the surface decoration begins. I use stencils, freehand painting and collage to achieve these effects.

Some fabric is composed completely of collaged photos

or sewn together smaller pieces.

For some dresses, I design the fabric pattern digitally or purchase electronic vintage maps and have them printed at a large scale print house.

Sometimes that involves additional surface decoration.

Sometimes I embroider right into the paper.

The addition of elements such as ribbon or trim add to the illusion of fabric.

Here are a few of the finished pieces shown in process above.

Professional portraits by Susan Wolfe

For more information, comment here or email: liza (@)

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Liza Mackinnon
Liza Mackinnon
Dec 14, 2020

Thank you Linda! I'll put you on my mailing list. It was great to see you on zoom yesterday - a great reading. Love to you.


Linda Sweet
Linda Sweet
Dec 14, 2020


Your work and process is so refreshing, exciting, different, and excellent! It's really neat to see how you make paper work as fabric. Keep creating these beautiful costumes!


Liza Mackinnon
Liza Mackinnon
Dec 12, 2020

Thank you Sharon and Shawn! I wish we could get together and do art again... maybe after the covid runs its course. Love to you two!

Smiling right back at you


Shawn and I are absolutely in awe of your creations. They should be displayed at the Smithsonian!!

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