Summer is a great time to get lost in a book or, in Jori Phillips’ case, wear one.
Phillips, a 21-year-old actress and avid reader from Vancouver, created a dress made entirely out of the pages of an old thesaurus.
“I love to read and I had this idea that books are so versatile and the pages are so light that you could make something cool out of it,” Phillips said today on “GMA LIVE!”
It took Phillips about six months to take the individual pages from a thesaurus and hot glue them together in intricate designs and patterns, giving a whole new meaning to the word, “textile.”
Some critics have expressed concern that Phillips would deface a book, but her reasoning for doing so, and for specifically choosing a thesaurus, was actually quite thoughtful.
“I did get a lot of people saying they had a problem with me taking pages out of a book to make something out of it,” she said. “But I specifically chose a thesaurus to make the dress because a thesaurus is a reference book and what authors use to take words out of the book to create something with it, and I thought it would be appropriate that I could do the same.
“I would feel really bad taking a story, something that people put their heart and soul into, and ripping it up. I would never do that,” she said.
Phillips completed the dress two weeks ago to wear to a local readers and writers festival, where she was hired as a costume character.
“I thought it was very fitting and it’s my community, so I wanted to do something fun for them,” said Phillips. “I’ve always drawn dresses and had ideas for dresses I’ve never made. That’s not what I do. I’m not a fashion designer. But when I was approached by a lady who hosts the festival, she started describing this girl she had the idea for as ‘the book worm.’ I was inspired by that.”
Since the dress was made out of old, yellowing thesaurus pages, which Phillips hand chose because the coloring gave the dress a more vintage look, she’s only been able to wear it five or six times.
“I can move quite well, but I can’t bend over,” she said. “I could sit if it’s on a stool, although I’ve never tried. There are a little parts that are ripping, and I have to make little fixes. But that’s easy enough. I just use my hot glue gun.”
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