Isabelle de Borchgrave has joined the ranks of Frida Kahlo, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Nick Bantock. I just found another hero. Her exhibition, Pulp Fashion, at the Legion of Honor is stunning.
She creates full scale and full detail historic costumes out of paper. 100% paper. She paints large sheets, hand prints designs, and recreates patterns to achieve breathtaking interpretations of the entire ensembles. Lace, ribbons, feathers, pearls, chains, all the nuances out of just paper. How can paper emulate silk? Borchgrave will show you.
The exhibit does not take up too many rooms, but each room is a treasure to occupy the eyes for hours. She even created a tent out of paper to set the some of the costumes in context.
While I was there I was overcome with the urge to just sit down on the floor and cry. I wanted so desperately to be in the middle of creating one of those costumes right then and there. It was deep seeded desire that made me ache. I hope one day I can create something that draws that sort of response from myself. So I went home and went straight to the studio to start dressing my next bedouin in paper.