Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter by training, but textiles and costumes are her muses. Her central project has been to recreate exquisite, life-size historical costumes entirely from paper. De Borchgrave creates a world of splendor from simplest rag paper. Painting and manipulating the paper, she crafts elaborate dresses inspired by the rich depictions in early European painting or by the iconic costumes in museum collections around the world. She masterfully works the paper to a desired effect. With her trompe l'oeil gowns, she invites her viewers to explore her imaginary world and to create their own illusions.
The artist's exhibition Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle Borchgrave is on view February 5 to June 5, 2011, at the Legion of Honor museum San Francisco. The museum is the first to offer an overview of the artist's most important bodies of work: from Renaissance costumes of the Medici family and gowns worn by Marie-Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour of Papiers a la Mode to the creations of the eccentric early 20th-century artist Mariano Fortuny.

Papiers a la Mode
Madame de Pompadour, paper dress inspired by a painting from 1755

Marie-Antoinette, paper dress from 1776

Elisabeth 1, court dress, 1599

Robe Worth, 1881
Paper dress inspired by the French stylist Frederic Worth

Splendor of the Medici
Eleonore de Tolede, 1522-1562

Anne de Medicis, 1616-1676

Isabelle (1540-1557) and Catherine (1593-1629) de Medicis
Detail of Isabelle de Medicis paper dress

Maria de Medicis, 1555

The world of Mariano Fortuny
Robe Delphos Bleue, 1920-1930

Robe Delphos Rouge, 1920-1930

Newest creations
Neapolitan woman, 1635


  1. You have really good working I like it, I have also some information of Fashion

  2. These gowns are exquisite! If only people still dressed this way occasionally I would feel pretty most every day.


  3. J'ai vu l'expo à Lyon. Il n'y a pas de mot pour traduire son génie.

  4. So beautiful I cried as I stood before the gowns and dresses.

  5. Brilliant and inspiring


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