A 15-year-old schoolgirl from Crawley, West Sussex has made international news for her extraordinary GCSE art project: a wedding dress made out of divorce papers.
Demi Barnes posted a picture of her artistic endeavours on Facebook purely for the purposes of showing a friend in Italy. However, thanks to the ‘shareable’ nature of social media, the picture soon went viral, accumulating a staggering 47,000 ‘likes’ and several requests for Barnes to design real wedding dresses.
The extraordinary wedding dress, which has a strapless design and features a sweetheart neckline and full crinoline skirt, is made out of over 1,500 genuine divorce papers.
A pupil at Lingfield Notre Dame School in Surrey, Barnes completed the project over the course of two days during her 10 hour art exam. She explained that she worked out the dress’s design through a process of “trial and error”, eventually deciding to construct the bodice from wire and then fold the papers around it, securing them with staples.
Barnes intended the ironic art piece to represent to concern that many people rush into marriage but soon get divorced. However, the wedding dress’s message has reached further than she intended, and now major fashion designers have asked for copies.
After receiving attention from the BBC and other national news outlets, the ‘divorce dress’ has even caught the eye of ABC News in America.
Claire Davis, Head of Art at Notre Dame School said: “Demi became charged, like electricity, when she had the idea for the dress. This was an incredibly ambitious piece and it took courage, patience and tenacity to see this through from concept to final piece.”
It looks as if Demi Barnes may have a bright future ahead of her; if not in fashion design, then possibly in matrimonial law.