The Tutu Project

The Tutu Project


Alex Gilbert

Designed and built by Alex Gilbert, national open-call for artists selection. Photo by Setareh Sarmadi.

Inspired by the children’s book The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, Alex Gilbert constructed this tutu out of paper bags. She began by collecting more than 450 paper bags which included gift, yard and shopping bags. To remain true to her inspiration, Gilbert wanted the bags to look worn and dirty, which she achieved using a process called breakdown. The bags were treated with a combination of water, ash and charcoal, resulting in their unique texture.

Gilbert has worked in costume departments in theatre since 1999 and is now the Head of Wardrobe at Ryerson University Theatre School. She is currently completing a Masters degree at York University on the history of fashion, science and technology, and sociology. Recently she began pursuing work in costume design and hopes to continue working in this area.

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Top image credit: The National Ballet of Canada tutus on display. Photo by Setareh Sarmadi.