Isabelle de Borchgrave’s Paper Gowns

Yep, one step out into the rain and these stunning dresses would dissolve into wood pulp.  They are made 100% out of paper.  Hard to believe, right?  At a passing glance, even the close up can almost fool a costume enthusiast.  Looks like very stiff silk.

Isabelle de Borchgrave, painter by training turned costume artist by passion, wields rag paper with the lightest touch, stenciling, shaping, and voila!  18th century costume that nobody can wear.  All the more delightful, I say.  I love unusual art and this is no exception.  Working with textile designers, de Borchgrave also recreates Medici and Elizabethan costume, as well as various other periods, including recreating looks from paintings like Van Dyck. Her work was most recently shown at the Legion of Honor is San Francisco, but unfortunately, the exhibition ended a few weeks ago. Watch the video below if you’ve 11 minutes of concentration to spare.

Otherwise, here’s a couple more 18th century lovelies:

Court dress with panniers

Men’s waistcoats, coats, and lace cravat/jabot

For more pics and info:

Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave

Exhibition Video

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