"Paper Dolls . . . "


How on Earth have I missed hearing about this - and thank heavens for the bus advertisement that I saw, whilst stuck in weird traffic this morning, on the way into work.

Pulp Fashion opened about two weeks ago at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco and is running through June 5.  The name of the exhibit also describes the works themselves.  Period costumes.  Made from paper.  Seriously, paper.

"Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter by training, but 
textile and costume are her muses. Working in collaboration with 
leading costume historians and young fashion designers, de Borchgrave crafts 
a world of splendor from the simplest rag paper. Painting and manipulating 
the paper, she forms trompe l’oeil masterpieces of elaborate dresses inspired 
by rich depictions in early European painting or by iconic costumes 
in museum collections around the world."

Eleanor of Toledo (above), 2006, inspired by a ca. 1545 portrait of Eleanor and 
her son Giovanni de’ Medici by Agnolo Bronzino in the collection 
of the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. 
(Photo: René Stoeltie)

"Eleonora di Toledo with Her Son Giovanni "
(ca. 1545) by Agnolo Bronzino, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florance

Elizabeth I court dress (above), 2001, inspired by a ca. 1599 portrait by 
the studio of Nicholas Hilliard at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire. 
(Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel)
"Elizabeth I", 1599-1600, Hardwick Hall portrait, 
by Nicolas Hilliard.

(Detail of the dress above)

"Pulp Fashion draws on several themes and presents quintessential examples in 
the history of costume—from Renaissance finery of the Medici family and gowns 
worn by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette to the creations of the grand 
couturiers Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel. 
Special attention is given to the creations and studio of Mariano 
Fortuny, the eccentric early-20th-century artist who is both 
a major source of inspiration to de Borchgrave and a kindred spirit."

Marie de’ Medici (detail), 2006, inspired by a 1595 portrait by Pietro 
Facchetti in the collection of the Palazzo Lancellotti, Rome. 
(Photo: Andreas von Einsiedel)

Click HERE for ticket information.


(All images from the Legion of Honor Website.)


Wow, so interesting! I love how inspiring this is. Thank you for sharing, Scot!

Have a blessed week.


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Post of the Day: A Retreat in Brazil/ Britney Spears' New House.
Unknown said…
WOW! I'm speechless that is so incredible!!! So glad Quintessence shared this link and I'll have to share with all of my artist friends.
I wish I could buy a ticket and see it in person but thank you for publishing these extraordinary images.
Karena said…
Scot I am simply blown away!! Stunning works of art...in paper!!!

Art by Karena
Unknown said…
Beautiful!! I was fortunate enough to see de Borchegrave's "Papiers a la Mode" exhibit years ago at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and it was simply astounding that her creations are indeed all paper. I would love to know if this exhibit will come east?
Splendid Sass said…
Wow, Scot! I love this piece.
The paper dresses are striking!
Thanks it is so inspiring and the close up shot of the fabric is divine! look forward to seeing you at design blog conf in a week. best, Tamara Matthews-Stephenson of Nest by Tamara
Claudia Juestel said…
Simply gorgeous! I had no idea either. I hope I will find the time to see the exhibit in person.


Kathysue said…
Thank you Scot, I am definitely going to go to this. We are so lucky to live close enough to see such wonderful exhibits, KS
Wish I was closer to see the exhibit. The dresses are stunning, thank you for sharing it.
Covetable said…
I saw something about this exhibit last week, but no images. These are stunning! I have a friend whose son has created an authentic 18th century samurai costume entirely from paper and paint and I sent the link for this to her. I am in awe of the time and talent that these creations require. Thank you for posting.
Unknown said…
i may have to make a trip to sf- these look amazing!
Vickie H. said…
Absolutely incredible! I hate that I am too far away to attend...I would love to see this! Thank you for sharing! Just wonderful!!!
The French Maid said…
Amazing! I remember discovering Isabelle de Borchgrave in Victoria Magazine years ago and have been a huge fan of hers since. You should see her amazing home...it's worth looking up!
Thanks for reminding me of this talent of hers!
--Lee Ann
Fantastic, I wish I could see it in person.
Ingrid Mida said…
A few years back there was an exhibition of Isabelle's work at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. As beautiful as these photos are, they tell only half the story because the work is even more incredible in person! There is also a wonderful book about Isabelle's work called "Paper Illusions, The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave" published by Abrams, New York in 2008.
Beryn said…
Thanks for this most interesting post; you inspired me to visit the exhibit, and it was wonderful. The exhibit makes me ask, "How does an artist choose their medium?" Clearly, this medium chose the artist.
woaw thanks for sharing such a lovely pictures..the dress or costumes..are just fab :)
What an amazing exhibition. Since I cannot make it S.F. I just bought the book. Just wonderful!

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