Belgian Artist Isabelle De Borchgrave Recreates Historical Fashion Using Paper

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Belgian artist de Borchgrave recreated historical fashion using paper at the age of 14 and she was more interested to leave the school behind and study drawing.

Written By Sounak Mitra | Mumbai | Updated On:
Belgian artist

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave recreated historical fashion using paper. At the age of 14, she was more interested to leave the school behind and study drawing instead. Her parents agreed to her career choices and de Borchgrave spent the next three years sketching nude models at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels. She visited museums to inspire her own work and soon developed an interest in fashion that she has been seeking for years. The all-paper ensembles in the 'Fashioning Art From Paper' exhibition were created by the Belgian artist. She said that she never studied fashion and stayed really free. Meanwhile, she started making vibrant hand-painted dresses and other outfits that she’d either sell or wear herself.

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Recreated designs using paper, paint

In 1994, she visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art that sparked an idea. She saw some designs by French designer Yves Saint Laurent and began focussing more on drawing on paper and painting on fabrics for years. She recreated certain designs using only paper and paint. She added that she was very touched by the beauty, elegance, and fabrics. She said that when she finishes up with a dress, she puts it in a room without showing it to anyone. She further added that she feels better because she has done something that she can be proud of. Over the last few decades, the extraordinary paper gowns have now been displayed in museums worldwide.

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Several art forms showcased in exhibition

At the SCAD FASH exhibition, the ensembles are divided into categories that each reflect a different era and inspiration, spanning about 500 years of fashion history. Several art forms from de Borchgrave's first sculpture series “Papiers à la Mode" are included in the exhibition. She collaborated with the theatre costume designers to determine how best to manipulate paper, paint, and glue to mimic fabrics and patterns from the late 16th century all the way up through the 1920s. She usually works with a cheap paper that is used to wrap Belgian chocolate.

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