Paper Dresses

Last fall through January of this year, the Frick Pittsburgh hosted an exhibition of work by Belgian artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave entitled “Fashioning Art from Paper.” If you’ve never seen her work before, you will be amazed by De Borchegrave’s life-size sculptures of historic clothing crafted exclusively from painted, folded, crumpled, and manipulated paper. Yep, just paper. Her sculptures are incredible examples of trompe l’oeil—even upon close inspection, it’s really hard to tell that the costumes are made of paper.

De Borchgrave’s concept for creating paper costumes was sparked by a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994, where she found herself inspired by the historic costumes on display. Once back in her studio, she began to experiment with creating versions of the pieces she had seen in New York out of paper. From replicating Renaissance Italian gowns to recreating the costumes of the Ballet Russes, De Borchgrave’s intricate and beautiful work has now been exhibited around the globe.

In addition to clothing, De Borchgrave also crafted jewelry, shoes and other accessories from paper.

The above two sculptures are costumes from the Ballet Russes.

Photography of exhibit courtesy of my father-in-law, Bruce Fichandler, who saw these gorgeous pieces in person. 

Taylor Design Blog

By Hannah F

Senior Art Director