Yesterday I visited Karin's lovely blog, La Pouyette, where I first encountered the intriguing work of Belgian Isabelle de Borchgrave. (Where have I been?) She introduced us to the book, Paper Illusions, which offers Barbara and Rene Stoultie's stunning photos of Isabelle's art. Look closely.
What you see is paper- in beautiful colors, with amazing details.
Isabelle de Borchgrave, first and foremost, is a painter. She loved it growing up and has always had her hands busy in some form of painting or another. Isabelle began her own studio, Creations Isabelle de Borchgrave, in 1983. Over the years, she has painted commissioned murals in fine hotels and homes throughout Europe, worked with fashion designers to provide them with painted fabrics, and developed lines of fabrics and textiles for the home.
In 1994, inspired by a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, she began recreating her paper
costumes sculptures. Based on paintings and the high fashion dress of the period, Isabelle has gifted the world with four different collections: 300 years of fashions, from Elizabeth I to Coco Chanel, with "Papiers a la Mode", the Fortuny collection with 19th century fashions of Venice, the "I Medici" collection with the ceremonial dress of famous figures in Renaissance Florence, and the costumes for the 20th century ballet companies of the world.
Here is a peak into her to-die-for studio:
How I would love to be working right with them!
Isabelle starts with sheets of rag paper that measure 1 meter by 1.5 meters and applies her magic with her colors, brushes, gilding and trompe l'oeil techniques.
Just look at the incredible definition of each painted object! Just the "fabric" background alone reads pure silk to me.
In 2008, Isabelle exhibited her creations in the Fortuny Palazzo in Venice. She described herself as "Fortuny's spiritual daughter", inspired by his devotion to reinterpretations of ancient textiles.
Fortuny's art of plisse (pleating) is meticulously captured by Isabelle...
The "fabrics" are so colorful and realistic.
What a setting!
For those of you lucky enough to live close by, be sure not to miss the new exhibition, "Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave", at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. It runs from February 5 to June 5, 2011 and features 60 costumes and works from the collections of Isabelle de Borchgrave.
[Photos courtesy of Isabelle de Borchgrave and the Facebook page of Isabelle de Borchgrave]