The Mayhem Over Mayhem: 4-Year-Old Models Homemade Paper Dresses

It’s a rare thing when craftiness hits the main-stream media, but this week, Fashion by Mayhem has hit it big time (if Kathie Lee and Hoda are talking about it on the Today Show, then it’s NEWS). Here, fashion refers to homemade paper dresses and Mayhem refers to the 4-year-old cutie making and modeling them on her mom’s Instagram feed

In an interview in the Huff Post, mom Angie says that the ideas are 50/50 and Mayhem (not her real name) has learned over time how many sheets of paper are needed for a top, a bottom, a long dress, a short dress. When asked if there is a dress that Mayhem created on her own, Angie pointed to the green, yellow, and blue number below. Totally believable in it’s ripped construction and pencil-like shape. The yellow crown headpiece is like the icing on the cake for me!

Not only do Angie and Mayhem create original designs, they also recreate red-carpet gowns from award shows like these two below.

I’m certainly no fashion critic, but here’s my craft/mom take. I’m obsessed with the abstract dresses—I even like the ones inspired by Minnie Mouse and a shark that was based on a trip the aquarium. They are inventive, original, collaborative, and just generally amazing. I completely believe that a child of this age can become so focused on an on-going project like this, and can only hope and pray that at least one of mine will do me this honor. 

When it comes to the celeb copies, personally, I’m not so interested. I don’t want to get into the whole childhood-is-so-short-don’t-let-our-daughters-grow-up-too-fast argument, but I’m just way more interested in how Mayhem’s personality changes with her own creations over the parroted poses of the celebs she’s copy-catting. She’s obviously a precocious 4-year-old, one who feels a black stocking cap and harmonica are necessary accessories for a dress made of wrapping paper, and it’s fun to imagine how each dress and pose came to be. As a mom who saves everything from a Pringles can (no I swear I don’t eat Pringles…someone left them here. Really.) to every paper towel tube, I am inspired to see a mom and daughter using what they have around the house and spending time together creatively.

Sure, maybe Mayhem will one day be the next Diane Von Furstenberg. Or Tavi Gevinson (a high school senior fashion critic and founder of Rookie Mag) Or maybe she’ll be the next Frank Gerhy. She’s definitely got some mad construction skills!

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