Gown made from Golden Books

Designer Ryan Novelline has created a smashing gown out of Golden Books -- he's documented the process, which looks like great fun: "The skirt is comprised entirely of the illustrations from the books sewn together with metallic gold thread, and the bodice is made from the books' foil spines. Both the bodice and skirt have tape backing for reinforcement."

Storybook gown constructed entirely out of children's Golden Books. (Thanks, Marilyn, via Submitterator!)


  1. Hmmmm…. I hope he used books that were already going to be destroyed. Though I will add that if one were to destroy a book needlessly, the LGB series isn’t one I’m going to cry over much.

    Nontheless, I can’t totally condone destroying books, even though the ebook revolution is going to create a LOT of unwanted books. Next time, can you he use something we won’t miss, like Tom Clancy or John Grisham?

    1. Well, you can’t get sued if the product is made using the actual book. Will they be angry that you used a book for something else? Maybe, but you can’t sue them for using your book after having lawfully purchased them, unless you intend to sell the dress. Exhibiting it is a completely different circumstance.

  2. I can not begin to describe how much I HATE Golden Books. Overly rounded heads and insipid colors used in the illustrations are somewhat forgivable, but the tongue twisting and long winded paragraphs just to tell you that two characters walked down the road…horrid. For anyone else out there who had to read any of these books about Pokey Little Puppy or any of the others, know that you have my prayers. Now it’s off to bleach my brain of the trauma.

    1. I was just considering commenting about how much I liked the Pokey Little Puppy and the Tawny Scrawny Lion. I didn’t realise there are people who hate Golden Books.

  3. While I’m no devotee of pablum or insipidity, I’m afraid I cannot concur with Quail. Compared with the unending torrent of contemporary childrens’ books, inspired either by age-inappropriate videographic franchises or the whiplash freneticism exemplified by the Bourne films, Golden Books stand as paragons of stillness, clarity, and often, originality: Hokey the Pokey Little Puppy may have been, but at least his was a custom-crafted tale. Besides, let us not forget that Golden Books also published NON-fiction works, like the gloriously infamous “Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments,” which inspired David Hahn’s backyard nuclear reactor. Hear, Hear, I say to Novelline (his name, deliciously appropriate: novel-line); now where’s the male equivalent?

  4. I live in a small island community in southeast Alaska with a very active local arts scene that expresses itself seasonally — summertime is active physical outdoor time, wintertime is creative, social indoor time — something which has developed due to a combination of dark winter days, unpleasant winter climate, and careful nurturing by a core of dedicated local arts supporters.

    Anyway.. the highlight of our creative season here every year is the annual Wearable Arts Show. It would greatly appeal to a fair slice of Boing Boing readers on a number of grounds, particularly DIY, salvage, and outsider art enthusiasts. Every year the show is different and the elaborate costumes are made from different materials, but the format is basically the same — highly elaborate costumes are constructed from found materials, and then exhibited in a format like a runway fashion show — models walk, dance, or otherwise move them down an elevated runway to lights and music.

    This year’s show included, among many others, pieces made entirely out of tea and coffee bags, matchbooks, newspapers, student loan documents, wood veneer, leftover marshmallow peeps. It had costumes that were political (e.g. the 8-foot tall, bobble-headed, Palin-esque “Quitter Queen”), whimsical (most of them), and sometimes just bizarre.

    At this point the show’s been going on long enough (this was its 25th season) to have generated some traditions and running jokes. For example a group of local librarians who try to put together costumes from discarded library materials such as books and maps, or then there’s the woman who goes every year in the persona of a euro-model named “Franzia” with a costume always based in some fashion on Franzia wine boxes.

    Photographic conditions were not ideal and I wasn’t especially serious in my efforts to capture the show, so my photos could be better, but you can get an idea of the show from them and BBers might enjoy:

    Fully articulating pneumatic-powered wooden wings
    Sarah Palin, the Quitter Queen
    Wood veneer dress and headpiece

  5. Wow! What a fun and beautifully executed garment! I love it. It’s also interesting to see because here in San Francisco we currently have the exhibit “Pulp Fashion” — apparel inspired by artworks and made entirely of paper. Interested? Museum website = http://legionofhonor.famsf.org/.
    There are many ways of playing and making beautiful things in this world… thank you for posting this image and enriching my day!

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