Is high society ready for wallpaper gown?

During the US Civil War, some Southern towns used wallpaper for newsprint. Now, Koos Van Den Akker, one of the world's top fashion designers, is using wallpaper for dress material. Everyone's eyes were glued on his gown of five pleated, tiered, and ruled wallpaper patterns at "Collaboration '80," a fashion show benefiting New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art June 9.

Another bit of fashion sleight of hand featured a small cabana, which the wearer propped with her hands. The outfit may not appear at the beach this summer, but it will be among the apparel displayed as the show tours the country this next year.

Collaboration '80 featured the work of more than 60 fashion greats including Mollie Parnis, Adele Simpson, Adolfo, Bill Blass, and Mr. Van Den Akker. All of their designs were made from sofa, armchair, and wall coverings.

The show illustrates growing interplay between New York's fashion design and interior furnishings industries, which have not always enjoyed congenial relations. The interplay is being encouraged by Resources Council Inc., a national nonprofit association of interior furnishings manufacturers and distributors. The council is dedicated to promoting better understanding between its members and other industries.

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