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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

paper wedding dress by akira isogawa


This beautiful creation by fashion designer Akira Isogawa is a prototype wedding gown made from paper dressmakers patterns, and held together only by pins. Just days before going on display in the exhibition 'Love Desire & Riches' at Old Government House, Parramatta, ICS was contacted to carry out urgent repairs to the gown. It had been damaged whilst on display at a previous location and there were large tears to the paper in several areas.    


Repairing tears is a common treatment carried out by our paper conservation team. However, it's not often that these repairs need to be carried out whilst an object is mounted to a mannequin! Due to the thin, semi-translucent nature of the paper, it was important that repairs were as subtle as possible, and that the transparency of the paper was not altered. Once a system of repair had been devised, the tears were carefully re-aligned, adhered with starch paste and supported with a very thin Japanese paper. After all the tears were repaired the gown was placed into a display case ready for the exhibition opening. 


This gown and a collection of over 50 famous and rarely seen wedding gowns and accessories can be seen at the National Trust's 'Love Desire & Riches: The Fashion of Weddings' exhibition, at Old Government House, Parramatta, from 10 July - 1 November 2015.  


The National Trust of NSW 


Paper Conservation









Paper Wedding Gown - AT

     After treatment   

Paper Wedding Gown - Tear - BT

       Tear - Before treatment     

Paper Wedding Gown - Tear - AT          
   Tear - After treatment

Paper Wedding Gown - Base of dress - BT

Base of dress - Before treatment

  Paper Wedding Gown - Base of dress - AT 

Base of dress - After treatment