“It was a glum moment, but both of us still needed an outlet for our creativity. So we got together and imagined one that nobody was directing but us,” says Flurry.
Their first job: Design windows for the New York and Atlanta outposts of Jeffrey, the longtime arbiter of high-end women’s fashion in Atlanta. “We had a plan for a window and thought that maybe we could convince someone to go along with,” says Flurry. “Then, we thought: ‘The Jeffrey window.’ They knew both Nikki and I, and on trust and with a little bit of collaborative effort with their visual director, they gave us the windows in New York and in Atlanta.”
Wigs for the Jeffrey Windows
Since then, Flurry and Salk, a formally trained artist, have cut their way through commissions for some of fashion’s most recognizable and respected names: a mess of Shirley Temple curls in a bouffant for a holiday window display at the Bay; strands of coal-black hair for a series of wigs for Kate Spade; an exclusive collection of animal masks for Hermès.
Animal Masks for Hermès
Any given Paper-Cut-Project sculpture can be made up of thousands of hand-cut, hand-placed, hand-glued pieces, the final work sometimes taking upward of 80 hours to create. And the duo doesn’t have six months to create seven pieces when Italian Vogue comes knocking. Paper-Cut-Project does it in a month.
Vogue Italia, ph. by Greg Lotus
“For the two of us to work together, it is this very fluid knowing because we’ve done it together from the start. It would be almost impossible to bring somebody else in because it’s a piece-by-piece, cut-by-cut situation,” says Flurry. “People look at these pieces, and they think, ‘You must have had a whole crew of people sitting around cutting this stuff.’ It couldn’t work that way.”
And then Christie’s called. The elite New York auction house phoned the duo during the last-minute prep for its high-profile sale and exhibit of Elizabeth Taylor’s couture collection. “They had all these exquisite jewels for couture on the mannequins, and they looked goofy without something on the head,” Flurry says. They knocked out four pieces in two weeks, including a daisy-adorned ponytail to top Taylor’s lemony chiffon sundress she wore for her first wedding to Richard Burton.
Wigs for the “Hollywood Costume” exhibit at the V&A
Barry Lyndon Elisabeth, the golden age Birds The Virgin Queen Shakespeare in Love, Elisabeth Shakespeare in Love, Joseph Gangs of New York Camelot (front) Camelot (back)
The duo was also commisioned by Valentino and collaborated with the Victoria & Albert museum, a 16-piece collection of paper wigs for their “Hollywood Costume” exhibit.