If you are old enough to remember the 1960’s then you will no doubt recall Andy Warhol’s paper Campbell’s Soup Dresses. Featuring his iconic screenprints of the famous brand, these dresses were actually constructed out of paper. Well, we just found a young woman who is taking paper couture to the next level. You are going to be amazed when you watch her make a wedding dress out of toilet paper. But more importantly, you will be amazed by her life story and how she came to design the outfit in the first place.
Amber Mills is a mother of three, a former US Marine, and a victim of multiple sclerosis. When she was first diagnosed, she fell into a deep depression, but she has managed to find a way to combat the crippling effects of both the MS and the depression: She entered a contest for creative uses for toilet paper.
Her idea was pure genius: she found a stash of vintage 1970’s pink toilet paper and she designed and made a wedding dress out of it. The results are nothing short of remarkable.
She removed the cardboard cores and then boiled the rolls in water. Next, she mixed in white glue and blended it until it gained the consistency of mashed potatoes.
At this point, she was able to press the pulped toilet paper into elaborate lace-like molds, which were used to create the ornate dress elements. Her first dress won third place in the national contest.
While the work takes many hours, she finds that it helps keep her mind off the debilitating MS, and her children love to watch mom work.
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease in which the insulating covers of nerves in the spinal cord and brain are damaged. The damage disables the ability of the nerves to communicate which leads to mental and physical problems and ultimately death.
Symptoms of MS include double vision, muscle weakness, coordination problems, numbness and sensation troubles, and temporary blindness. These symptoms can be temporary and occur in isolated attacks, however even though they may disappear, permanent damage has been done with each successive attack, leading to a progressive form.
We still do not totally understand what causes MS, although the underlying mechanism is believed to be either an autoimmune response or failure of certain kinds of cells that produce the nerve coverings. Some possible causes might be genetic or environmental factors like exposure to a virus.
The diagnosis of MS can be difficult and usually is based on the symptoms, and supported by specific medical tests.
People have loved Amber’s story, and have left comments such as:
“You are just super amazing.”- Tracie Parker
“I want to hear more about you & the dress, start a blog. The fact you are raising adorable polite children while in pain is something to be very proud of. Also thank you for your service to our country.”- Annette Nager
“Inspirational woman. Living with MS is very challenging for sufferers and great that she is making a bad situation better.”- Listening2All
What is the most creative thing you have ever made out of toilet paper? Do you know someone living with multiple sclerosis? Please share your stories with us here.