Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye
Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye
Atlantans Nikki Nye and Amy Flurry have pretty impressive resumes. One is a former fashion boutique owner, and the other a former magazine style editor. But their ingenuity, creativity and chutzpah have drawn international acclaim to their talents, which just happen to be in the simplest medium: paper.
The two have been working together to create intricate and painstakingly detailed paper sculptures since 2009 under the moniker Paper-Cut-Project, when “we discovered a mutual love for the theater and fantasy as it played out on the runway or in a fashion editorial,” says Flurry. “When we came up with our idea, we decided to choose just one material and to keep it simple. Nikki had been working in paper since art school and knew the material well; we chose that for our medium but in a different, more sculptural direction than in her personal work, which is also fabulous.”
Paper might seem extremely one dimensional, but the duo ensures that it’s anything but. Their commissioned pieces can take anywhere from five days to two weeks to complete, proving that they’ve been able to reinterpret an extremely simple, everyday medium and turn it into decorative, fanciful and sculptural wigs that complement the clothing that sits on the mannequins beneath it.
The project started at the upscale retail shop Jeffrey in Buckhead.“We approached then-manager Don Purcell with our idea, which was pretty elaborate. He was incredibly gracious, considering we didn’t have any prior work to show him, only the concept and a drawing,” admits Flurry. “It was Don and the visual director who helped us to scale our idea to something that was executable: [mannequin] wigs.” “Then Don said, ‘Well, if you do the windows for Atlanta, you’ll have to do the New York [outpost of Jeffrey] as well,’’’ remembers Flurry. “And I will never forget that, as I was aware of the popularity of the boutique in the Meatpacking District.”
From those windows and that first effort came many exciting opportunities. The very next project they worked on was a series of equestrian-inspired masks for Hermès that proved how electrifying the concept and work was. Since then, they’ve created pieces for Kate Spade, Valentino and more, although the pair’s favorite endeavor is a 17-piece commission for “Hollywood Costume,” one of the most visited exhibits ever at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
It’s easy to see why the wigs are of particular note: The pair has done everything from a Cruella De Vil-inspired, swept-back style to medieval looking ponytails and piles of curls worthy of Marie Antoinette. Made mostly black and white, the pieces are striking and daring, with enough whimsy to keep observers staring at a vitrine that much longer.
These two Georgians continue to find inspiration at home in Atlanta, even though their work has taken them all over the world. (Up next: a luxury shopping mall in Lisbon, Portugal, has commissioned an installation of 10 custom pieces, prints and a fashion collection out on loan.) Says Nye, “Atlanta is a city on the rise. The development and redevelopment both are what help to make it so unique. The people here, especially in the artistic community, are so energized by where this city is going.”
Find Paper-Cut-Project online at paper-cut-project.com, and follow Amy and Nikki on Instagram at @amyflurry and @biggik.
STORY: Lauren Finney
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna