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Clean/Cut

This spring, designers have the same inclination as paper artist Tahiti Pehrson: Take a classic form in a pristine hue—and slash it.

Diane von Furstenberg Achava silk dress, Maiyet double floating bone horn ring

Valentino heavy flower lace gown, Lucifer Vir Honestus teardrop rose gold earrings

Band of Outsiders macramé dress

Jill Stuart Veronica dress, Celine silver cuff, Christian Louboutin Diptic ankle boot

Simone Rocha open dot dress, Pamela Love Triple Empire necklace, Geoffrey Young sterling and diamond bangle, Giuseppe Zanotti crisscross laser-cut sandal

BCBG Max Azria Bijou dress, Maiyet gold organic drop earrings

Catherine Malandrino Swarovski-encrusted motorcycle jacket, Reed Krakoff slim pants, Alexander Wang Alla lizard-print wedge sandal

Simone Rocha open dot dress, Pamela Love Triple Empire necklace, and Geoffrey Young sterling and diamond bangle.

About the artist: Tahiti Pehrson started experimenting with art the old-fashioned way: out of sheer boredom. Reared by a pair of back-to-the-land bohemians in Nevada City, he grew up in a house that had no electricity but lots of art supplies. “If we wanted something to do, we had to make it,” he says. “You had to make stuff to have stuff.” Out of this enforced austerity emerged a talent for repetitive, painstaking works like these hand-cut paper tapestries, featured through March 3 in a 13-piece show at the University of San Francisco’s Thacher Gallery.

Since his stint at the San Francisco Art Institute 15 years ago, Pehrson has been making paper-cut art. To create this series, he went through 7,600 razor blades, the cost of slicing intricate guilloche patterns into white compressed cotton-rag paper. Needless to say, this is laborious stuff: One 5-by-7-foot panel took Pehrson a full week of 16-hour workdays to complete, and the largest panels here measure 5 by 13 feet. The payoff for the artist is seeing how viewers react to his output. “A lot of people come to my shows and say, ‘I want to climb into that,’” he says. “I like to encourage that interaction: It’s not you versus the artwork, it’s you inside the artwork.” You can get inside his next exhibition this summer (June 3–30) at K. Imperial Fine Art.

Fashion Resources

Beauty:

Chanel Rouge Coco Crème lip color in Plumetis, $34 at Nordstrom, 865 Market St. (near 5th St.), 415-243-8500

Shiseido Full Definition mascara, $24 at Macy’s, 170 O’Farrell St. (near Stockton St.), 415-397-3333

MAC Cosmetics Full Coverage foundation, $31 at MAC Cosmetics, 1833 Union St. (near Octavia St.), 415-771-6113

Nars blush/bronzer duo in Sin and Casino, $28 at Nars, 2050 Fillmore St. (near California St.)

Make Up for Ever eye shadow in Vibrant Light Blue, $20 at Sephora, 33 Powell St. (near Eddy St.), 415-362-9360

MAC Cosmetics eye shadow in Chrome Yellow, $15 at MAC Cosmetics, 1833 Union St. (near Octavia St.), 415-771-6113

Make Up for Ever Aqua Eyes eyeliner in Matte Black, $18 at Sephora, 33 Powell St. (near Eddy St.), 415-362-9360

Bumble and Bumble Semisumo pomade, $27 at Sephora, 33 Powell St. (near Eddy St.), 415-362-9360

Oribe Superfine Strong hair spray, $36 at Harper Paige Salon, 11 Tillman Pl. (at Grant Ave.), 415-391-1050

Essie nail polish in Mint Candy Apple, $8 at Beautyland, 180 O’Farrell St. (near Stockton St.), 415-989-1818

Diane von Furstenberg Achava silk dress, $465 at Nordstrom, 865 Market St. (near 5th St.), 415-243-8500

Maiyet double floating bone horn ring, $950 at Barneys New York, 77 O’Farrell St. (at Stockton St.), 415-268-3500  

Valentino heavy flower lace gown, $7,990 at Valentino, 3333 Bristol St. (at Anton Blvd.), Costa Mesa, 714-435-2000

Lucifer Vir Honestus teardrop rose gold earrings, $4,875 at Barneys New York, 77 O’Farrell St. (at Stockton St.), 415-268-3500

Band of Outsiders macramé dress, $645 at bandofoutsiders.com

Jill Stuart Veronica dress, $668 at jillstuart.com

Celine silver cuff, $520 at Barneys New York, 77 O’Farrell St. (at Stockton St.), 415-268-3500

Christian Louboutin Diptic ankle boot, $995 at Barneys New York, 77 O’Farrell St. (at Stockton St.), 415-268-3500 

Simone Rocha Open Dot dress, $1,075 at Susan, 3685 Sacramento St. (near Spruce St.), 415-922-3685

Pamela Love Triple Empire bronze necklace, $485 at Carrots, 843 Montgomery St. (near Pacific Ave.), 415-834-9040

Geoffrey Young sterling and diamond bangle, $825 at Carrots, 843 Montgomery St. (near Pacific Ave.), 415-834-9040

Giuseppe Zanotti crisscross laser-cut sandal, $795 at Barneys New York, 77 O’Farrell St. (at Stockton St.), 415-268-3500

BCBG Max Azria Bijou dress, $668 at BCBG Max Azria, 331 Powell St. (at Geary St.), 415-362-7360

Maiyet gold organic drop earrings, $750 at Barneys New York, 77 O’Farrell St. (at Stockton St.), 415-268-3500

Catherine Malandrino Swarovski-encrusted motorcycle jacket, $2,800 at catherinemalandrino.com

Reed Krakoff slim pants, $690 at Nordstrom, 865 Market St. (at 5th St.), 415-243-8500

Alexander Wang Alla lizard-print wedge sandal, $715 at Neiman Marcus, 150 Stockton St. (at Geary St.), 415-362-3900


Credits:

Photographer: Claudia Goetzelmann

Stylist: Lauren Murrow

Hair and makeup: Mil Ranon

Artist: Tahiti Pehrson

Style Assistant: Rebecca Vicino

Photography Assistant: Adam Weidenbach

Art Assistant: Matthew Gottschalk

Model: Hanna/ Look Model Agency

Location: Thacher Gallery, University of San Francisco

Originally published in the March 2013 issue of San Francisco.

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