Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper

Exhibition Website

Jun 15 2019 - Sep 8 2019


Six centuries of fashion are explored in the breathtaking art of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. 

Working in collaboration with leading costume historians and 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 found in early European paintings or by iconic costumes in museum collections around the world. 

Rarely seen in the U.S., this exhibition presents quintessential examples in the history of costumes—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. 

Included in her large body of work are objects from her “Ballet Russe” collection, and particular 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.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Isabelle de Borchgrave (Belgian, b. 1946) Le Noir du Roi (The Black King), 2009. Costume designed by Léon Bakst for La Belle au Bois Dormant (The Sleeping Beauty) in 1921.  Mixed media, primarily acrylic, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive. Collection of the artist © CidB

Isabelle de Borchgrave (Belgian, b. 1946) Madame de Pompadour Court Dress, 2001. Inspired by a c. 1756 portrait of Madame de Pompadour by François Boucher in the collection of Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Mixed media, primarily acrylic, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive. Collection of the artist. © CidB

Isabelle de Borchgrave (Belgian, b. 1946), Pallas, 2007. Inspired by the c.1482 painting Pallas and the Centaur by Sandro Botticelli in the collection of The Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Mixed media, primarily acrylic, ink, metallic powder, and adhesive. Collection of the artist. © CidB

  • Decorative Arts
  • European
  • Design
  • Isabelle de Borchgrave

Exhibition Venues & Dates