Cutout Charm: Canadian Fashion Paper Dolls by Danielle Meder

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Free-Paper-Doll-Booklet_Page_1 by Danielle Meder_finalfashiondotca

In the early days of her enthrallment with fashion, when she was a child, fashion illustrator Danielle Meder used costume-history library books as reference to make paper dolls and elaborate cut-out paper gowns. She moved on to other artistic media as she grew older, but returned to paper dolls last Fall to commemorate LG Fashion Week's Spring 2010 collections.

"I didn't think too hard about it," says the Ryerson fashion grad about her decision to undertake such a project for her blog, finalfashion.ca, which she launched in 2006. The idea of a more grown-up version of paper dress-up appealed strongly, despite the complexity involved and a busy schedule. The concept was also a unique way to feature the runway shows. "Every time Fashion Week comes around I look for a way to cover it that is different. The season before, I did watercolour postcards."

In total, the paper doll project consists of 15 designer collections (including Vawk, Evan Biddell, Jessica Jensen, Pink Tartan and even Sears Attitude), 17 paper dolls and more than 60 items of clothing and accessories. Each doll took about three hours to complete. "I did the drawings by hand, inked the outlines, scanned them, and coloured them in Photoshop," explains Danielle, whose work has appeared in the National Post and the Globe & Mail. "I'm pretty linear when it comes to drawing. I like colouring in Photoshop because it allows me to add depth. And to 'undo.'"

Danielle thinks she'll likely revisit the medium, but perhaps take a more global approach and feature some of her favourite international designer collections. "I had this blissful feeling the whole time I was doing it, an 'I can't believe this is my life' thing," she says.

Paper Dolls is now available as a bound book printed on heavy stock for $43 USd from blurb.com, as well as in PDF form for $17.95 CAN directly from Danielle via finalfashion@gmail.com. A free mini download is also available on finalfashion.ca. And click here to read more about Danielle and Paper Dolls on fashionmagazine.com.

I'm so getting the PDF so I can frame some of these for my office. Might let the Staff have one over her desk, too. If she ever gets a desk.

Paper Dolls by Danielle Meder_finalfashiondotca

A version of this story apears in today's Metro News.