TAPIR TYPE'S GALLERY OF OTHERNESS: PEPPERMINT PATTIE FORMALWEAR
There are some things that can't be categorized, such as a wedding dress made of Peppermint Pattie wrappers.
Me, escorted by my dog Dante, wearing a stunning silver-sheen gown with delicate blue and red highlights and a veil with a crown of flowers. Photo by Silas Kopf
You might be wondering how I ever got it in my head to make such a thing. I don't know why anyone would wonder that, it seems pretty obvious to me. It's a simple demand and supply equation: the world demands formalwear made of candy wrappers, and I help to supply it. But in case you need a more in-depth explanation, here's the reason.
In 1998, I arrived at college as a scared freshman, worried about the prospect of sharing space with roommates. Given that I've always been very particular about how my living quarters are decorated, it was a bad sign when I first entered my suite and was immediately confronted by a one-by one foot square of silver Peppermint Pattie wrappers taped together and stuck to the wall. One of my roommates, Martha, had made it during a summer program with a friend because they both loved the candies.
In spite of my initial displeasure, I soon grew to love the Pattie Square, and it grew as well, becoming a Pattie Poster, then a Pattie Tapestry, and finally a Pattie Wall. My roommates and I enlisted the help of friends and dorm neighbors: we would give them candy, and they would leave us the wrappers to tape to the ever-expanding sheet. Sometime before the end of the year, this monument to the gluttony of college students had taken over an entire wall of our room, but we still had wrappers left over, so we started making other things, like hats, wallets, and dresses, all out of wrappers and tape.
Martha displaying the Pattie Wall after several months of work. Ultimately, it grew to about four times this size. Photo by Sasha Kopf
In the summer of 2003, Martha, the original Pattie visionary, became engaged to a dashing young man, and when she announced her upcoming nuptials, my friend Julie and I immediately agreed on what our wedding gift to her would be: a full bridal trousseau made of wrappers. I said I would make a dress and a veil, and Julie told me that she would craft a set of accessories to wear under it.
The Peppermint Pattie gown which I made is 100% wrappers and tape (both packing and Scotch varieties) - no non-artificial materials were used. The sweetheart neckline is accentuated by the ruffled straps, and the waist is cinched to show off a lovely hourglass figure. The dress sweeps the ankles with a scalloped hem.
The veil, believe it or not, is also made entirely of wrappers and tape. The crown was crafted from colorful holiday-themed wrappers which I folded into tiny origami orchids and cut into leaves. I made the veil by scraping the colored foil off wrappers to reveal the solid white paper-like tissue underneath. This was kind of sticky, but the solution to that, as with every problem in the world of Pattie fashion, was to stick tape over it.
Julie models the bridal outfit. The plant came from our hotel room, and though it wasn't made of wrappers, it was at least fake. Photo by Sasha Kopf
The Pattie gown is not only stylish, it's also practical! The original dresses I worked on in college were very haute couture, but you couldn't sit down in them. The full skirt on this dress allows for great flexibility while still showing off the wearer's figure. The piece fastens easily in the back, as long as you have some tape on hand, and repairs are a snap - again, tape. And of course, with most eveningwear, you have to worry about spilling wine or avoiding mudpuddles, but this outfit is quite stain-proof.
Martha, the stunning bride, and her new husband dancing at their wedding reception. Photo by Julie C.
ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2012 BY SASHA KOPF