Zoe Bradley Design Blog
Sotheby's Royal & Noble Descent auction exceeds in Sale with artist Zoe Bradley collaboration August 3, 2016 17:43
I met with Sotheby’s Old Master paintings specialist and magazine columnist Jonquil O’Reilly. A resident fashion historian and style ambassador. She inspired me with stories behind the paintings of the Old Masters and the traditions behind the garments and reasons for the styles of the fashion pieces. This proved a springboard for my own research. I began looking into paintings and costume books of etchings that documented the fashions of the time. I found the opulent wigs adorned with feathers, flowers, birds, and powdered with wheat flour stories fascinating. Visually these looked like works of art themselves! The enormous dresses with metres upon metres of the finest silks were tremendous fashion statements. Covered in ruffles, bows, fine lace work and jewels. We worked on scoring techniques with the papers to recreate the fine silks that were used in the court dress to emulate the luxurious nature of the fabric. A challenging but an exciting brief.
THE RED DRESS: EAST GALLERY
This monumental dress is 6m in length and 2.5m in height. It consist's of over 6000 hand sculpted paper ruffles and was adorned with magenta Swarovski crystals along with individual hand crafted roses and ribbons. The symbolism of using red and the shear scale of the piece was created for its symbolism, relating to vast wealth in the 17th and 18th Century.
Inspired by the Elizabethan period and the Spanish court dresses, the designs began with the Farthindales (the distinctive shape that goes underneath the dress) and commonly associated with the Tudor's and worked up to the plunging neckline of a corseted bodice complete with large puff sleeves. The paper ruffle textile was created by hand folding each ruffle and fixing into place to create a delicate shell like textile, that reflected the ornate dress style of the period. The metallic finished paper was chosen for it’s luminous silky quality.
SHOE: EAST GALLERY
These gold shoe’s were based upon a Venetian shoe, from 1700. Often heels would be worn by men as well as women. A fine and expensive shoe always had red heels and soles - the dye was expensive and carried a martial overtone. This fashion soon spread overseas - Charles II of England Coronation portrait of 1661 features him wearing a pair of enormous red, French style heels - although he was over 6ft (1.85m) to begin with. It was also indicative of how the wearer of a red sole or heeled shoes was part of the elite inner court circle.
The texture of the chinese silk was recreated through scoring by hand a scratched line across the metallic card to emulate this fine surface texture. The carnation and blossom flowers and 3D scroll effect were brought to life through pressing textures into the paper to bring these details to life. Every part of the shoe was recreated in acute detail, plaited edging and rolled strips make up the carved paper heals. The paper shoes were finished with a row of clear cut crystals that were placed around a paper buckle. A truly detailed work of art, if only they could be worn!
CROWN: NORTH GALLERY
This majestic sculpture was based upon Elizabeth I crown from the Tudor era. The crown is clad with over 3000 hand cut gold leaves and scored by hand 36,000 times. We finished this very fine detailed crown off by adorning it with Swarovski crystals and pearls. The detail in this piece really has to be seen to be believed.
NECK RUFF: NEW GALLERY
With a diameter of 100cm, which allegedly was the largest size neck ruffs were ever made to, this was technically the most challenging piece .
The 1580s saw the increasing use of lace in ruffs, it was a symbolic fashion accessory that showed wealth & status. The bigger and more frivolous these lacy wheels were the more ostentatious and vain the wearer appeared. We created a repeat laser-cut artwork inspired by Elizabeth I neck ruff, the finely cut details referred back to intricate lace designs of the Elizabethan era. We tried to emulate this detail through the laser cut design. The Ruff is created from over 30 metres of paper. The edges were finely cut to create opulence and delicate edging. Edges were historically kept crisp with straightening irons and we used the same method to give the paper a crisp finish.
WIG: WILSON GALLERY
The 18th Century was the era of big hair for both men and women alike. Women's hair was piled up into towering mounds, helped by padding and hair pieces and added chignons and this was to be my approach in creating the paper wig. Building the strands of paper hair onto an exaggerated mould, I was then able to build up the wig using all the decorations synonymous with this period, from ornament feathered birds, clusters of roses and bows with jewelled centres. Flower chains held in place by Swarovski coloured pearls were placed either side while a plume of feathers jutted from the back of the wig into the air. The fine ringlets at the back of the wig were twisted and rolled around modern day curling tongs, but that's about where any similarity with today's hair preparation ended!
Paper Artist Zoe Bradley Talks on How Fashion & Art Inspire her Work at Royal Academy of Art May 18, 2016 17:39
'Craftmanship combined with silhouette is the handwriting of Zoe Bradley.'
"My precious experience working with Alexander McQueen at such a seminal moment in his career, ignited in me a real love of craftsmanship and detail' says paper artist Zoe Bradley.
This really is where her career path took a left field turn. Instead of pursuing the normal route of ready to wear design, Bradley found a love and passion for creating extreme silhouettes in unusual materials. Working at McQueen's studio led Bradley into sourcing materials, such as wood, metal and raffia. Today, Bradley choice of material is paper. She has developed her techniques over the past 10 years in what she describes as "A truly unique hand sculpted product that celebrates the beautiful and natural forms found in nature."
The winged plywood corset designed by Alexander McQueen and created by Bradley for his no 13 show 1999
Ahead of this Friday's Talk at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Zoe Bradley will be discussing her journey from it's humble beginning to where she is today.
Fashion Editor and muse, Isabella Blow, championed Bradley's early work. Blow loved her final graduate collection. She made her stamp of approval by photographing it for the cover of the Sunday Times Style magazine.
Zoe Bradley's final Graduate Collection as featured in The Sunday Times Style by Isabella Blow
'I was drawn to the spectacle of the fashion show that bordered on performance art' says Bradley. She cites Hussein Chalayan, Comme des Garcon, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen as inspirational designers. Mavericks in their design field, who were the exception. Not content with just showing their collections up and down a runway, they pushed boundaries and created theatre. Bradley knew she HAD to work with McQueen, whose vision she admired, respected and above all felt emotionally inspired by.
After joining the team as an intern in 1997, Bradley was given the role of showpiece maker working exclusively on the more unusual commissioned pieces that were very often not from fabric. Working closely from his sketches and specialist craft makers she assisted in creating some of the most iconic pieces in fashion, most recently seen in the exhibition Savage Beauty at New York's Metropolitan Museum and more recently at the sell out show in London's V&A museum.
As Bradley will explain in this Friday's talk at the Royal Academy of Arts, these were defining moments in creating the spectacle and drama out of an everyday material. Paper.
From pleated showpieces for Michiko Koschino to creating a magical christmas window for London store Liberty, Bradley's path was set to become a paper visionary designer offering a bit of magic into the world of retail.
Work in progress: Creating one of the paper headpieces for Liberty of London Christmas window 2005
Other commissions followed from Tiffany & Co, where Bradley designed and created 146 bespoke windows for their global christmas campaign. Inspired by Fairytales, the work resulted in a perfectly executed story book in a glass box.
One of the five Fairytale scenes, designed and created in paper by Zoe Bradley for Tiffany & Co Global window campaign for Christmas 2009
From International windows that span from New York to Berlin, London to Hong Kong, Bradley has worked on creating some magical sets for advertising campaigns and produced detailed paper works of art for some of the best and well known magazines in publishing. Her work has been exhibited in Amsterdam and London's Sotheby's and appeared in numerous books on paper art.
A pair of gold paper shoes created by Zoe Bradley with Swarovski crystals for Sotheby's London for their Royal & Noble Descent exhibition. Photo courtesy of Sotheby's.
The 6 metre long Red Ruffle paper dress. Designed and created by Zoe Bradley for Sotheby's Royal and Noble Descent exhibition and auction 2016
If you'd like to hear Zoe Bradley talk more in detail about her life in paper and how fashion and art have really had a lasting influence on her work, please secure your place for this Friday's insightful 'In Conversation with …'event at Royal Academy of Art. Places are limited and the event would normally be open only to Friends of the Academy, who this week have been celebrating with all kinds of inspiring events from Talks to Workshops. The Zoe Bradley Talk takes place this Friday 20th May from 7pm - 8.30pm.
The Floral paper chandelier designed and created by Bradley for Burlington Arcade 2015. Photo courtesy of Jamie McGregor Smith
You can confirm your attendance by sending an email to the link below stating its for the Zoe Bradley Talk this Friday.
Places are STRICTLY limited.
There is also this link to our Facebook page
Paper Artist & Designer Zoe Bradley invited to Talk at Royal Academy of Arts April 29, 2016 14:32
Zoe Bradley's collaboration with Marks & Spencer WINS Most Creative Visual at Jasmine Awards March 17, 2016 14:28
We were delighted to hear this week that our collaboration with Marks & Spencer won Best Creative Visual at the annual Jasmine Awards, held at BAFTA London on Wednesday 16th March. Under the Creative Direction of Karen Davidson of Paul Barry Design, paper artist Zoe Bradley created six different paper shapes, inspired by the festive season, including a holly leaf and winged Angel to illustrate the 'Forever Fragrance', timeless classic's that every women should take note of.
Zoe Bradley Creates a Couture Style Paper Gown for London Design Week Chelsea March 9, 2016 14:10
We were honoured to be asked to take part in this years London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour, which launches to the press & buyers from 13th - 15th March this weekend and the general public from 16th -18th March. Expect to see some of the best global names shaping the luxury interiors world today, showcasing their latest collections and ranges.
Zoe Bradley will showcase a blue floral dress made entirely from paper for this years London Design Week
With this years theme heavily directed by the Geometric trend and the colour blue, paper artist Zoe Bradley went on an inspirational journey to discover past and present artist and designers who made the colour blue a pivotal part of their work.
Always referencing the floral & fauna world that Bradley has become synonmous with, it was no surprise that other artists and designers have found inspiration in the symmetry and formation of flowers.
Zoe looked at works by William Morris, Japanese Osaka prints, the Art Forms in Nature by Ernst Haeckel and paintings of Monet's blue period as well as Wedgwood and Delft Pottery whose work is defined by the colour blue.
Above: Zoe Bradley's paper geometric interpretation of the Chrysanthemum.
Below: Some of the Delft Blue ceramic inspiration behind the Blue Dress for London Design Week
The shape of the skirt for the dress echoed the roundness of the glass dome ceiling in the South Dome of Chelsea Design Centre where the dress will be on display. The bodice attached to the skirt has a nipped in waist to accentuate the larger than life silhouette.
The dress design sketch by Zoe Bradley
The 400 flowers that form the paper textile for the dress were cut and assembled by hand in Bradley's studio. There is also 3,500 leaves that have been scored over 17,000 times.
Above: A still life shot of the paper flowers that include a Wild Rose, Apple Blossom, Cherry Blossom and Chrysanthemum, along with 3,500 leaves that will go onto the dress frame and bodice.
Above Paper Artist Zoe Bradley at work creating the huge paper floral dress for #LDW16
For more information and the full programme of events over London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour London click on the link below
Say I Love You with a Personal & Unique Valentines Gift Boxed Paper Rose by Zoe Bradley January 29, 2016 19:13
As we say good bye to a cold and gloomy January, we are turning our attention to much warmer matters of the heart with our hand made boxed paper roses.
As we enter into the month of February next week and our hearts race in anticipation on what might (or might not) drop through the letter box on 14th February, we'd like to give you a suggestion. Whether you are the giver or the receiver, a boxed paper rose from celebrated paper artist, Zoe Bradley really does tick that love box.
Order you very own personal handmade paper flower from paper artist Zoe Bradley by 6th February to avoid disappointment. These are hand crafted from our UK studio, each petal cut and curled (with love naturally). Each stem painstakingly hand wrapped in paper. Each leaf, precisely hand scored. These are then placed in their own white box with a small blank card and envelope for you to write that personal message of love to that special someone.
We know we can't compete with the wonderful floral fragrance you get from a large hand cut bunch of flowers. We love getting them just as much as you. However, these hand crafted paper flowers, will last much longer, dare we say forever. Our customers have told us they have them on display in their homes in their open box or have placed them in an antique glass single stem vase.
Each Flower comes with its own discreet embossed ZB logo.
Please allow 7 days for delivery as each one is made to order. Due to the hand made nature, no two are the same. Go on and spoil somebody special this Valentines with a Zoe Bradley rose.
Paper Artist Zoe Bradley creates 10 bespoke Paper Peonies for Boucleme January 26, 2016 17:40
We were delighted to be asked by Boucleme, specialist in producing natural hair care product for curly locks, to create something unique and special that they could gift to a selection of lucky Beauty Editors.
Not only is the Boucleme packaging good looking with its clean and clever design, it specialises in celebrating and getting the most out of naturally curly hair. With the constant down pouring of rain the UK has seen in recent weeks, its a timely product launch to keep those curls looking their very best!
Our 10 individual gift boxed peonies echoed the subtle pretty pink packaging on the new Curl Cream Boucleme product which launches onto the market next month. The cut and curled petals of the Peonies had strangely similar characteristics to the product other than just the pink colour.
Ten lucky Beauty Editors will receive the new Boucleme product in a Zoe Bradley box along with their very own Peonie flower. Each flower hand cut and made and embossed signature, so no flower is exactly the same.
With Valentines Day fast approaching you to can order you very own boxed paper Rose flower. Hand made from our studio by our small talented team of craftspeople. To view colours go to the top and click into Shop and select the Gifts from the menu.
@TeamFluorescent #curlpower #naturalcurls #paperflowers #zoebradley
Paper Artist Zoe Bradley Collaborates with Sothebys to create unique Installation January 22, 2016 15:17
Tomorrow will see the unveiling of five incredible works of art created by reknowned paper artist Zoe Bradley. The unique pieces were created by Bradley and her small team of highly skilled crafts people from her UK studio. Each piece takes its inspiration from rare and beautiful works of art that have been curated ready for auction by the famous auction house Sothebys. Entitled Of Royal & Noble Descent, the works on view once belonged to royal and aristocratic European families.
They have literally been bought to life through Zoe Bradley's paper sculptures, which include a pair of gold shoes encrusted with Swarovski crystals, a large white Ruff with intricate cut out detail to emulate lace work, an oversize gold crown also beautifully adorned with precious Swarovski stones and pearls, a large 17th Century inspired wig, complete with feathers, birds, roses, bows and small flower chains held in place by soft pastel pearls. Each bow has a faceted cut crystal attached, also from Swarovski.
The largest piece is a 6 metre long red dress. A masterpiece in paper manipulation, it contains thousands of ruffles and hundreds of roses and bows. All produced in a deep rich iridescent red paper to give the illusion of centuries old silk. Again the bodice is adorned with red Magma crystals from Swarovski that sparkle wonderfully under the gallery lights.
The exhibition opens to the public tomorrow Thursday 14th January until next Monday 18th with a special Late Night View this Friday 15th January with a special Fashion Talk by Old Master Specialist and Harpers Bazaar Contributing Editor @bazaaruk Jonquil O'Reilly
Celebrate & Decorate this Festive Season with a Zoe Bradley handcrafted Christmas Wreath November 27, 2015 14:43
Unless you have been hiding under a rock the last week, you will know today is Black Friday. A day where the world goes slightly mad on a buying frenzy. Quite unlike any other day in the year. Accept perhaps Cyber Monday! Without wishing to jump onto this consumer marketing phenomenon with too much haste, we did think it a good incentive to offer our customers at Zoe Bradley, the chance to buy your very own unique and bespoke hand crafted paper Christmas wreath with a seasonal good will discount.
The large size wreaths are custom made to order from our UK studio. You can choose between a white indoor or white outdoor wreath in a festive star design or more romantic Rose style - as featured on the cover of this months House & Garden magazine in association with Harrods.
They take 7 days to deliver once an order has been placed.
If you order one now until the 5th December, we are offering a 20% discount on the full retail price. Just tap in code wreath20 when you check out.
They really are stand out pieces and you are unlikely to find anything on the scale and hand cut detail anywhere else. Go to www.zoebradleyshop.com to view these and other handcrafted paper products which all make great personal gifts.
Zoe Bradley’s Magical wrapping for Christmas with Fine Jewellery: Box Sets shot for December British Vogue. November 6, 2015 09:30
The new issue of British Vogue, whose front cover is graced by model of the moment Karlie Kloss, is packed full of festive cheer from the best parties to the most colourful and sparkling accessories. And talking about all things sparkly and shiny, as you might expect with the countdown to Christmas, we would ask you to take a peek at page 256 - entitled Box Sets, its our 6 page editorial shoot showcasing the best high jewellery.
It was a striking collaboration working alongside British female photographer Lacey, whose clients include Louis Vuitton, Dior, NARS, Kate Spade and Bloomingdales. Her eye for graphic detail and composition is a perfect collaboration with Zoe’s clean-cut modern style.
Vogue’s Jewellery Editor, Carol Woolton was responsible for editing the finest pieces of jewellery from the world’s best high-end jewellery brands.
Zoe was responsible for designing and creating the intricate and refined colour palette of paper sets. When asked to collaborate with Lacey on this issue Zoe and Lacey discussed concepts of states of wrapping and unwrapping, with a magical feel. A recent trip to Japan inspired Zoe to explore the ‘Art or wrapping.’ Exploring Japanese wrapping styles and a very subtle palette of flesh tone, ivory, silver, gold, and teal with a hint of red. All the wrapping was created and hand sculpted by Zoe and her team from there studio. Modern geometric patterned ribbons, spools, and hundreds of intricate bows were created to adorn every miniature present and box in the paired back colour palette in order to highlight the details and forms. A highlight is the feather quill pen, which is intricately laser cut from a metallic finished paper, which has a wonderful luminous quality.
The soft and muted feminine colour palette works well against the bold shot of teal and red colour background. It also let’s the intricate pieces of fine jewellery shine out.
#papersets #unwrapped #vogue #stilllife #craftmanship #handmade #jewellery #diamonds #boxsets #zoebradley
Zoe Bradley's James Bond Spectre Day of the Dead Dress with Omega Watches November 4, 2015 16:00
As opening film sequences go, the new James Bond film, Spectre is pretty spectacular.
Celebrating the annual festival of Day of the Dead, a cast of thousands pulsate through the sultry heat of the Mexico City streets. They are dressed in the most elaborate and detailed costumes ever undertaken in any James Bond film.
We were delighted therefore to get a call from leading luxury watch brand, Omega, whose timepieces have been worn by James Bond for the last 20 years, to ask if we could recreate one of the spectacular dresses that feature in the opening sequence.
Zoe Bradley and her team set to work on sketches, designing elaborate and voluminous dress shapes and headpieces, incorporating large flowers and skulls. All of which were to be realised in paper!
The dress was commissioned by the top department store in Berlin Kaufhaus des Westerns (KaDeWe), whose entire windows have been dedicated to the new James Bond film.
The Day of the Dead dress was created from our studio using hundreds of hand crafted white paper flowers and 15 skulls were painstakingly put together using white paper. These were then applied by hand to the dress frame, creating a huge sweep across the window and framing a film still from the opening Mexico sequence.
Actress Naomie Harris, who plays Miss Moneypenny opened the Omega James Bond exhibition at the luxury department last week ahead of the Berlin Premiere of the film. The exhibition is open to the public until the 14th November 2015.
Paper Artist Zoe Bradley collaborates with Japanese store Hankyu for her largest window installation. September 14, 2015 13:55
This month Zoe Bradley Design collaborated with premier Japanese department store, Hankyu in Osaka to create seven stunning windows to launch the new season collections for Autumn Winter 2015. Taking inspiration from the textures and embellishment that many designers were showing for the coming season, we pushed paper to its limits and created oversized couture style gowns and headpieces to bring the dramatic windows to life.
Highlights include a deep claret pom pom gown, which tumbles and cascades from a gold mannequin, perched bird-like from a high swing and a voluminous Hydrangea gown complete with headpiece that fills an entire window. The shear size of the enormous windows, played to Zoe Bradley's strengths of over scaling the silhouettes from the 4 metre high dresses to an expansive blossom headpiece that stretches across the window and the magical swirling butterfly headpiece that grows from the mannequin’s head rotating across the window. A vision of fantastical fluttering wings, where each butterfly is adorned with a single Swarovski crystal.
The creations were very fashion focused as we set out to imagine seven ‘Gorgeous’ windows that takes you on a journey through a magical garden from the hundreds of colourful drop flowers to a huge flowering rose branch.
For the first time, Zoe Bradley also collaborated with the worlds leading crystal brand, Atelier Swarovski. Hundreds of sparkling crystals were applied to the dresses and the butterflies. The effect was spectacular, as it gave real depth and sparkle to the bespoke creations and re-enforced the fashion trend of embellishment. Each crystal was painstakingly applied by hand. The whole showcase of the windows was about craftsmanship and decoration and yet again showed how the medium of hundreds of sheets of flat paper can be realised into something very unique and visually exciting.
The work was on an enormous scale and the Zoe Bradley team simply could not have achieved such magnificent creation without the manpower, skill and patience of the Hankyu team who we worked alongside in their Kyoto workshop in the run up the installation. This has been our biggest creation to date and probably has set some kind of world record on creating the largest number of windows made solely from paper. We hope you can see from the images the craftsmanship and skill that took place in creating these magnificent windows.
#paperflowers #wearableart #luxuryretail #couture #hankyu #japan #paperartist