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Lancaster designer's fairy tale bridal gown for Litfest
Claire Massey and Jennifer Pritchard-Couchman
The dress uses over 2500 pages and took three days to make

A Lancaster bridal wear designer has come up with a fairy tale dress - literally.

Jennifer Pritchard-Couchman's strapless gown is made entirely from pages of Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales.

It's all part of the city's Litfest literature festival which runs until 24 October.

"Andy from Litfest approached me and asked if I could make a dress out of books and I said 'yeh of course I can'," said Jennifer.

"Then about three weeks ago I was off on holiday with my husband... and I thought 'how am I going to make a dress out of a book?' so we did a lot of scribbling on the train and worked it out.

'Lots of folding'

"I traditionally create bridal gowns using silks and lace, so the opportunity to create a dress entirely out of books was a fantastic challenge!"

The dress took three days to make and has "lots of frills, lots of folding, lots of stapling, paper mache and glue."

It was worn on Saturday by writer Claire Massey, who read a fairy tale she had written specially for the literature festival.

Claire's new fairy tale consists of resourceful heroines, lost towns, strange dresses made of grass, smoke, feathers, and finally of books, and a good dollop of the Lancashire landscape.

"After many drafts, and a lot of agonising over things I've never before considered (can you make a dress out of rain? What would it feel like to wear smoke and feathers?) I've had to try to imagine what a dress made from the pages of books would feel like to wear - and most exciting of all, I got to wear the dress to read the story!" she said.

The gown will now go on display for two weeks in the Thomas Storey gallery in Lancaster.

"People are very welcome to come along to see it - and read it!" laughed Jennifer.

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