Vintage lace and fine crochet? Think again. Every year the National Toilet Paper Dress invites contestants in the US to compete for a top prize of $10,000 by making a wedding dress out of Quilted Northern toilet paper.
The wedding dresses have to be made with nothing more than toilet paper, thread, glue and tape and they must be able to be taken on and off by a person.
The co-founder of the contest’s host Cheap Chic Weddings Susan Bain said that “We are in constant awe of these artfully crafted dresses year after year and hope to continue to inspire brides both past and present with these couture creations.”
Finalist of this year’s 14th edition Frank Cazares, 29, a costume designer with Dezart Performs and Coyote Stageworks, used 53 rolls of Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong toilet paper. His toilet paper dress is called Esperanza, meaning “hope” in Spanish and was his Grandmother’s name.
“For my first gift as a newborn, my grandmother crocheted me a blanket and so I wanted to mimic that design in the dress,” he told USA Today. He intends to return to fashion school to study bridalwear if he wins the top prize. “I’m a big supporter of sustainable fashion so that’s one thing I’m also trying to work with,” he said. “I’m trying to use more recyclables to make more fashion couture gowns or pieces.”
Cazares immaculately crafted 1,000 little flowers individually cut and sewn together to create the look of a vintage lace wedding dress. He also used 10,000 yards of different tones of gold thread to sew it.Buttons, zips, hooks and eyes all banned from the contest and Cazares used nude medical tape as the lining of the transparent dress. He even made an incredible headpiece inspired by Frida Kahlo.
With many designers returning to the contest every year and raising the bar even higher, keeping things fresh is always a challenge.
Cezares says this is his fifth year and fourth in the top 10 of the wedding dress contest. “This year I did challenge myself to make something that was very wearable and that had a flow,” he said. “It’s hard to reinvent yourself every year. Every year you just try to be different. The movie the ‘Wizard of Oz’ inspired me to be creative and think outside the box. So I really look up to cinematography and creating a look for movies and theater. That’s how it stared. It’s inspiring to see everyone else’s work. I call them my toilet paper family,” he said. If you love the Wizard of Oz then you’ll be amazed to know what Dorothy’s slippers are worth.
Actress and singer Kari Curletto made a princess-style gown including the cage crinoline again using only using tape, glue and 1600 feet of toilet paper. Meanwhile Augusto Manzanares (header image) has made the top 10 three times now.
The final takes place in New York on June 20 at Kleinfeld Bridal with the top 10 contestants. Voting for the fan favourite – a prize of $1000 – closes at 9 p.m. on June 18.