Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Still Intrigued by Paper

Recently, I wrote about Molly Peacock's latest book and the awe inspiring works of Mrs. Delany. I have now read the book and become even more intrigued by the scholarship and the author's unique approach. I think it proves that one can become possessed by the beauty of the past and find a way to make it part of one's life.

And then comes this from a friend--a reference to the current exhibit of the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Isabelle was once a designer in residence at Victoria and has since gone on to dazzle us with her painted paper creations of costume. I have several of her books and when I take them out I am always truly amazed that human hands can create such beauty from a simple material like paper.

In Isabelle's first such venture, she worked with Rita Brown, then the costume director of the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada. I had previously met Rita when we did a story on the theater. It made me so pleased to see two such talents involved in a unique project.

Do not miss going to the site to see what Isabelle has now wrought. It is called Pulp Fashion. I'm not sure I love the title because it seems too simple a word for such miraculous transformations. Isabelle fashions the paper and paints the defining details. The exhibit is a history of costume design relying on the dress depicted in paintings from museums around the world, as well as the more contemporary classics of Dior and Chanel.

One could wish for a meeting between Mrs. Delany and Isabelle. Intricacy is their stock in trade. Isabelle's vision brings to our day the spirit of Mrs. Delany. How fortunate we are.


  1. Hello Nancy!!-- I saw these paper dress fashions on t.v. and am just enchanted by them. To think that she could make such gorgeous replicas out of paper is just so neat!-- I just now read that the exibition is in San Fransisco until June 11th.-- I am a four hour drive from there-- and am going to try to plan a trip just to see this all in person!--Thanks so much again, Nancy, see you continue to inspire me, reminding me of so many glorious& good things! --Love,Valery

  2. Oh, I'm so delighted that you shared these with the gang here! Love, Kay Marline