Artist takes ‘novel’ approach to the wedding dress

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She’s not a designer. In fact has no fashion background. But Carrie Ann Schumacher is an artist, who while working in a public library three years ago, was stopped in her tracks by a box of 50 donated books – all of them romance novels.

Months later, that box – and a grad school project -ignited a very big idea.

After a month of painstaking trial and error, those stories became a living symbol of love: The Wedding Dress.

“There’s reality to romance,” Carrie says. “You don’t have to buy into what everybody tells you to buy into.

Several books comprise each dress, cut with scrap booking scissors, then glued and taped together. Many of the books have been donated. Others were found in thrift shops.

She has designed 20 dresses so far, each sparking a new idea for the next.
The only rule she follows? Romance novels only.

Several of her dresses are on display at the Harold Washington Library Center:

Build Her a Myth: Romance Novel Dresses
Harold Washington Library Center
8th floor North wall
400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605
Through July 18th

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