2005 - 2022

“Ripping and Sleeping” video animation by Angelo Plessas. ATOPOS cvc Collection

#RRRIPP!! is the first international and interdisciplinary art and fashion project in progress that ATOPOS cvc organized with part of its collection as a starting point. According to the Oxford English Dictionary RRRIPP is the sound of something being torn or split apart, usually made of paper. 

 In particular, the project focuses on garments made of paper and paper dresses from the 1960s which belong to the  RRRIPP!! Collection. These paper items form the nucleus of the collection and provide a comprehensive representation of paper clothing in the history of dress, fashion and design. The collection, which numbers today more than five hundred items, also includes rare historical paper garments from Japan and China, as well as contemporary creations by renowned designers such as Hussein Chalayan,  Helmut Lang, Hugo Boss, Maison Martin Margiela, and Issey Miyake amongst others.

Based on an original idea by Vassilis Zidianakis, the #RRRIPP!! project was first conceived back in 2004 and since then,  it has taken the form of exhibitions, installations, lectures, publications and creative collaborations presented in different venues all around the world.

#RRRIPP!! explores and discusses new open ways to approach questions regarding the invention of raw material and textile, and consequently garment manufacture know-how, such as for non-woven materials. It examines in fact a particularly innovative non-woven material, paper, as well as paper-like materials, such as Tyvek®.

An interdisciplinary project in progress, RRRIPP!! places particular emphasis on the ephemeral, fragile, humble, and poetic nature of paper garments. These garments inspire enthusiasm and surprise to the public when it realizes the unexpected and practical use of this familiar and everyday material. These feelings activate a journey into imagination and this journey and interaction have provided the driving forces behind the RRRIPP!! project so far. ATOPOS welcomes scholars, specialists, and institutions from all around the world to engage into innovative research partnerships and collaborations on the RRRIPP!! Research Programme.

The RRRIPP!! Collection forms the basis of the RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion exhibition which was first presented at the Benaki Museum in Athens in 2007. ATOPOS cvc also published in 2007 an accompanying exhibition catalogue edited by Vassilis Zidianakis.

The RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion catalogue is the most comprehensive publication dedicated to the phenomenon of clothing made of paper as a practice in the western world as well as China and Japan. The texts have been written by renowned scholars and experts such as Alexanda Palmer, Kaat Debo, Akiko Fukai, Myrsini Pichou, Lydia Kamitsis amongst others. The publication also presents paper creations by contemporary fashion designers and artists as well as the ATOPOS cvc RRRIPP Collection of paper garments.

Since 2007, ATOPOS cvc has been invited to present the RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxemburg (2008), at the ModeMuseum-MoMu, Antwerp (2009), at the Fast Fashion Festival, Bologna (2009), in Museum Bellerive/Design Museum, Zurich (2010), in Chadstone, Melbourne (2011)in Galerie Stihl, Waiblingen (2013)and most recently in The Hellenic Center, London (2019). In all these venues and cities, the RRRIPP!! collection provided the nucleus of the exhibits together with special loans from designers, collectors, museums and institutions, such as the Archives Christian Dior, the Brooklyn Museum, the Mode Museum in Antwerp, and more. Furthermore, the 1960s paper dresses from the collection have been displayed in various thematic exhibitions, such as the Art Nouveau Revival at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris (2009 – 2010) or the Pop Art Design show at the Barbican Art Gallery, London (2013 – 2014).

Since 2007 RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion has evolved into a touring exhibition that can adapt to the different visual angles and challenges of each venue, always seeking new ways of presentation and exhibits. The aim every time is to add to the research and discussion of the paper dress phenomenon as well as to explore new ways of thinking about contemporary issues such as sustainability, creativity and re-use.

In that context and in an effort to instigate collaborations with contemporary designers and artists in order to try and link the past with the present, ATOPOS initiated the RIPPING ATOPOS project. In the project, contemporary artists and fashion designers such as Demna Gvasalia, Howard Hodgkin, Angelo Plessas, Walter Van Bereindonck and Dirk Van Saene, Robert WilsonJannis Varelas and Zoe Keramea amongst others are commissioned to create their own works of art or garments, inspired or by using items from the RRRIPP!! Collection.

All these years, every piece that has been added into the RRRIPP!! Collection has required varying degrees of conservation or restoration. With the RRRIPP!! Conservation programme ATOPOS is committed to maintaining all pieces in the best possible condition and to respecting each garment’s history, raw materials and philosophy of manufacture. For this purpose ATOPOS collaborates with specialists, universities and conservation schools in Greece and in Europe, such as the ARTESIS Hogeschool Antwerpen, and incorporates these collaborations in the exhibition spaces as a workshop on display in an interactive manner with the public.