Patssi Valdez

“Before I went to the U.K. I had already decided to make a dress called Queen to honor the journey.”

In the wake of LACMA’s highly successful retrospective (2011) “Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987,” Asco founding member Patssi Valdez was invited by Nottingham Contemporary in England to make paper fashions for their version of the exhibition, “ASCO: No Movies.” An event, Paper Fashions: An Evening with Patssi Valdez, culminated in a runway fashion show presented in an installation created by Valdez. Three of the dresses are pictured here.

Valdez 2014 Go Go Edition 50 GUEST LECTURE
Valdez crafts a skirt of pleated black butcher paper with a corset of cardboard and black duct tape. Sleeves are formed from discarded and knotted elastic. The model’s hair is ratted into an oversized regal pouf and encircled with a headband of recycled costume jewelry. To complete the fantasy, Valdez collages the image of the model wearing Queen onto the vast lawn of a stately home in the English countryside.

Valdez Aztec Queen final edition 50 print GUEST LECTURE
An Aztec goddess appears to pose in the garden of the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City adorned in a costume made from Sumi ink on butcher paper. Hanging price tags form a decorative border, while dangling oversized earrings are fashioned from styrofoam balls covered in metallic paper. Hair and makeup reflect Valdez’ own iconic look.

A third model appears as a glamorous movie star, a woman of color, superimposed onto a trendy London street scene. A “No Movie” logo is stenciled with spray paint onto butcher paper printed with a film motif and styled into a chic costume. A very large cardboard-and–duct tape hat—fit for Ascot—is embellished with a fringe of swinging price tags. Dramatic makeup, black gloves and drugstore sunglasses complete the look. 

—Jane Chafin