Pulp Fashion



A coffee table book gets dressed up - beautifully - in paper

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When I was in third grade, my mom stayed up all night and created a top hat out of paper for me, to go with the coat-tails I was wearing as the emcee at a school play the next day. It’s one of my fondest memories, because it was so perfect, and frankly, I had no idea my mom could make hats. Like many mothers, Isabelle de Borchgrave created costumes for her kids when they needed them, and she would make them out of paper so that there was little fear of their eventual destruction. But she later found herself obsessed with fashioning outfits out of paper for the sheer pleasure of creating. From papier maché shoes to pleated or lacy ballgowns completely out of pulp and paint, what may have started out as a happenstance became a full-on artistic endeavor. Some of her pieces based on historical costumes are collected here in this gorgeous tome, Paper Illusions.

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It’s fascinating that this book is really about paper. For all intents and purposes it looks more like an extended presentation of lavishly ornate period costumes, like the many reference books one would see about great couturiers. Similar to couture, while the pieces are grand in and of themselves, you’ll really marvel about the work upon closer inspection, via the many detail shots. These ensembles would be intriguing enough if they were only costumes, but the fact that they’re made of paper takes them to an altogether different level. De Borchgrave’s workmanship really makes each and every detail live up to the title. Paper illusions indeed.

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Paper Illusions: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave is available at our Kate’s Paperie stores. To order, click here for a location near you.

If you have any questions, comments or other feedback about The Tear Sheet, be sure to let us know by emailing us at thetearsheet@katespaperie.com.

George G., Creative Director At Large, is a New York-based art director whose work spans everything from store display to interactive media. Also an accomplished artist, his illustrations have been published and exhibited in various galleries in New York. Being a self-professed design junkie, he is constantly on the lookout for what’s new and fresh in the worlds of art and design.

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