Don’t forget to catch the Word Dress at The Storey

October 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Word Dress by Jennifer Pritchard Couchman

For a limited period only, catch the Word Dress by Jennifer Pritchard Couchman at the Thomas Storey Gallery in The Storey Building, Lancaster. Leave you comments in the visitor book, and check out some of my favourite bridal gowns for my 2010 collection.


Once upon a time… The dress made from books for a fairy tale reading

October 18, 2010 § 7 Comments

A new fairytale for adults commissioned by Litfest from contemporary fairy tale author, Claire Massey was premiered this Saturday 16th October at The Storey, Lancaster. Claire wore a custom-made dress made entirely from the pages of books, designed and hand crafted by Lancashire bridal designer, Jennifer Pritchard Couchman.

Using over 2500 pages from multiple copies of the recently reissued ‘Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales’ the gown took three days to make and has “lots of frills, lots of folding, lots of stapling, paper mache and glue.”

“Andy from Litfest approached me and asked if I could make a dress out of books,” says designer Jennifer Pritchard Couchman. “I traditionally create bridal gowns, using silks and lace, so the opportunity to create a dress entirely out of books was an fantastic challenge!”

Claire’s new fairy tale consists of resourceful heroines, lost towns, strange dresses made of grass, smoke, feathers, and finally of books, and a good dollop of the Lancashire landscape. “After many drafts, and a lot of agonising over things I’ve never before considered (can you make a dress out of rain? What would it feel like to wear smoke and feathers?) I’ve had to try to imagine what a dress made from the pages of books would feel like to wear – and most exciting of all, I got to wear the dress to read the story!”

It’s all part of the Lancaster Litfest literature festival which started on Friday 15 October, and features readings and events featuring Ian Rankin, Carol Ann Duffy, Steven Berkoff and Anne Fine. The festival runs until 24th October.

The Word Dress gets its first fitting with Claire Massey

October 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Fairy Tale author Claire Massey tries on the Word Dress for the first time in advance of the Litfest event

Fairy Tale author Claire Massey tries on the Word Dress for the first time in advance of the Litfest event

The Word Dress, a special commission for Litfest is complete. It is one of the most spectacular and unusual gowns I have ever designed and made. On Friday, contemporary fairy tale author, Claire Massey came into the Jennifer Pritchard Couchman studios at The Storey to try it on! Would it fit, would the papier mache bodice hold together, could claire walk in a skirt made from 2000 folded pages? The answer, thankfully, was a resounding YES! and we’re all set for the big unveiling on Saturday evening…

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