I am in awe of artists and creative people! I think it is wonderful that someone can sit in front of a blank canvas and create a still life painting, or pick up a violin and play a piece that would make the angels weep. Would you have imagined that a stack of paper created this stunning dress?
Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave created this magnificent piece of art using paper and paint. From a young age Isabelle knew she wanted to be an artist, she would use the walls of her bedroom to draw and sketch, and when the walls were filled her mother would have them repainted white so that she could start again.
She left school at the age of 14 to go to pursue her passion for painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Art. After stints in advertising, and interior design; an exhibition about Yves St. Laurent in New York inspired to her to invite a designer friend, Rita Browne to Belgium to collaborate on a dress made of paper, the rest as they say is history.
Isabelle’s work is on display all over the world, she recreated Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress in paper for the Kennedy Library, she was invited to make a permanent display of Marie Antoinette at Versailles, and has a permanent pieces in Russia, Belgium and many other countries, as well as numerous collections touring the world. With her team of 18 assistants in her studio in Belgium the artist creates everything from shoes, to handbags, to jewelry, to dresses from every period in history.
Currently, Pret-a-Papier is on display from now until December at the Hillwood Museum in Washington, D.C. The pieces range from the elaborate dresses of 17th century Russia, to 18th century France and then the simple lines of the 20th century.
I love every piece in this collection! But my favorites are the dresses from the French court, they are stunning. I have visited the Hillwood Museum website more than once to see these stunning creations and each time I do I cannot believe that they are paper! The pleats, the ruffles, and the painting are unbelievable. I am now Isabelle’s biggest fan and have spent about three hours on the web reading every article I can find and enjoying every image that is out on the web. If you think these pieces are amazing, wait until you see the pieces inspired by the Fortuny.
I have this exhibit on my list for summer and cannot wait to see it in person. I will let you know when I see it. In the meantime, if you are as captivated by Isabelle de Borchgrave as I am, you can read and see her work in more detail in her book, Paper Illusions.
Enjoy your day!
On a side note, if you would like to see some stunning paper creations from a fellow blogger than go visit Anita at Castles Crowns and Cottages. She has created the most beautiful shoes and dresses, they are works of art!