Who would have thought the Cashmere commercials were actually real that depicted a women not just wearing a dress made from bathroom tissue but going out in it. I learnt how real this is when I was approached by Kruger Products L.P. to design and create for the White Cashmere Collection. Kruger Products L.P. is the parent company that owns Cashmere Bathroom Tissue. Each year, Kruger Products L.P. selects 12 Canadian fashion designers to bring imagination to the runway and use Cashmere bathroom tissue as their fabric. Each year, a theme is selected for the collection. For 2012, the them was Vintage Hollywood. The White Cashmere Collection was not only a showcase of how incredible Cashmere bathroom tissue is but an awareness and fundraising event for Breast Cancer. I was thrilled at being selected. I was nervous since I’ve never used bathroom tissue as a primary fabric. I was melancholy because I had the opportunity to turn breast cancer into something beautiful.
In a few days the fabric arrived at my studio. It was the biggest box of bathroom tissue I’ve seen. Unboxing the bathroom tissue and laying it out over my cutting table I started to think what was vintage hollywood and how was I going to use this bathroom tissue to bring my sketch to life. I had two colours of bathroom tissue to work with – white and pink. Since pink represented support for breast cancer I decided my design needed to be pink. With my colour chosen, I jumped into the internet to do my research. My design materialized backwards. I realized my vision of vintage hollywood was an actress and not a movie. To me, Greta Garbo was this actress. She was a legendary actress who combined remarkable beauty with a modern sprit and irresistible allure.
Now that I had my influence I wanted to select a design that complimented the strength and determination of so many women that live with breast cancer. I felt choosing an easy way out in my design selection would be insulting. Women that live with breast cancer don’t have an easy way out. A garden party stuck into my head as the backdrop and all I could think of was trellises with climbing roses. I could see Greta Garbo in this party and than I saw her wearing the trellis. Well, not wearing it literally but wearing a woven lace full length gown with a train and a slit. The lace would represent my trellis. I’m not going to say I never second guessed my decision while hand creating lace out of bathroom tissue. There were several nights where I thought I had finally lost my mind. Fashion, although beautiful is a painful process. One week later, my design was completed. The Cashmere bathroom tissue was incredible. It not only stood up to the creative and sometimes volatile design process, it looked amazing.
The White Cashmere Collection is the world’s first and only BT (bathroom tissue) couture collection. Starring top fashion luminaries from across the country, it is a celebration of the softest feeling next to your skin.
The collection debuted in 2004 as a showcase for the brilliance of Canada’s fashion designers and their creations in sumptuous cashmere fabric. Now an eagerly-anticipated annual event, the international award-winning collection progressed to Cashmere BT as its fabric after the first two years. The collection further evolved in 2008 to highlight Fashion with Compassion™ and the launch of new, limited-edition Pink Cashmere®, Canada’s first coloured bathroom tissue in a decade. A fund-and-awareness-raiser for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, twenty-five cents from the sale of each package goes directly to the Foundation.