Pretty dresses, huh?
Yeah, they’re made of PAPER… I swear!
Isabelle de Borchgrave is a Belgian artist who wears many hats, from painting to wallpaper to tablescapes and beyond, but my favorite is her fabulous collection of intricately folded, pleated, and painted paper dresses. Her recent exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, called “Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave”, showcased her incredible talent for costume design via paper, with a walk through the history of fashion, from the Renaissance through the era of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel (though, I suppose if you want to see her Chanels as much as I do, you have to buy the book).
Marie Claire de Croy and Child, after Van Dyck’s painting ; Neapolitan Woman, after Stanzione’s c. 1635 portrait
De Borchgrave has a gift for breathing new life into historic paintings through re-creation, like the two works above, inspired by art currently on display at the Legion of Honor. Her “I Medici” and “White Dresses” collections (below) are perfect models of her expertise.
De Borchgrave, a great admirer of fashion from every era, has devoted an entire collection to the work of famed Spanish fashion designer Mariano Fortuny, all displayed beneath a delicate tent created with, what else, paper.
The World of Mariano Fortuny
And if you’re not already blown away, she’s also recreated looks made famous by Marie Antoinette, Billie Holiday, Jackie Kennedy, and the fashion houses of Worth, Dior, and Lanvin, plus window displays for designers like Hermès. WOW.
Billie Holiday ; Jackie Kennedy’s Wedding Dress
Dior Display Window ; Lanvin
Hermès window display
I might add that she’s also made ballet costumes, Turkish kaftans, shoes, furniture, vases, men’s and children’s clothing… you name it. Plus her interior decorating skills are totally worth marveling over [she even did a collection of hand-painted, paper party décor for Target (sold out, of course)].
Check it all out at her website; it’ll blow your mind.