I often see announcements for exhibits and plan to make time to go but forget amidst the chaos of work and life. I happened to re-read a recent issue of Veranda and came across a blurb about an exhibit at the Hillwood Estate in DC that combined paints, paper, and fashion. I had never heard of Hillwood but upon further research realized it was the estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post. (In my head – “Duh! Merriweather Post Pavillion!“– The place where in high school I hopped the fence to many a concert… Until it changed owners and a huge berm and two barbed wire fences were erected, oh, and a highway transected my pathway to the venue. Hmph!) But I digress… The exhibit was of the works of artist Isabelle De Borchgrave of Brussels. She creates fashions out of paint and paper. I was skeptical until I looked up the Atelier and was blown away and the detail and realism she has realized with paper. The exhibit was to close in early January so I had to go and with Christmas break around the corner I had some time to play with.
So I passed the idea by Mike and gave him the right of first refusal. Secretly I wanted him to say no because I think my mom would LOVE to see this since she sews and would appreciate both the methods as well as the construction of the pieces. I think he knew that and so I asked my mom and of course she wanted to go.
I just have to say first what a treasure the Hillwood Estate is, and how ignorant I feel for not knowing about its existence. The home is filled with Mrs. Post’s collection of French porcelain and Russian liturgical artifacts and Relics that were to end up melted down by the Russian government after the Revolution.
Oh but the paper, it was simply stunning! It was mind-blowing how Borchgrave manipulated paper and paints to replicate fabrics like silk, brocade, trims, precious gems, and metals.
Detail of Dress in the style of Empress Josephine shown above:
Fortuny Inspired Dresses:
"Robe a l'Anglaise" detail:
Dress inspired by the paintings of Jean-Antoinne Watteau
Pierrot Jacket and Petticoat:
Russian Traditional Dress inspired by the painting of the Wedding behind it:
French Drawing Room:
You can see more about the exhibit here, http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/whats/exhibitions/pr%25C3%25AAt-%25C3%25A0-papier
More about Isabelle De Borchgrave and her Atelier: http://www.isabelledeborchgrave.com/en_home.php