Hot! Pulp Fashion at The Legion of Honor

Attention fashion and/or paper lovers! If you are in the SF Bay Area any time before June 5 you have to visit The Legion of Honor's current exhibit Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave:

The Legion’s presentation of over 60 trompe l’oeil masterpieces draws on several themes presenting quintessential examples in the history of costume—from Renaissance costumes of the Medici family and gowns worn by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette to the designs of the grand couturiers Fredrick Worth, Paul Poiret, Christian Dior and Coco Chanel.  Special attention is given to the creations and studio of Mariano Fortuny, the eccentric early 20th-century artist, who is both a kindred spirit and a major source of inspiration to de Borchgrave.  Additionally, five creations inspired by four paintings in the Legion of Honor’s European collection will be presented for the very first time.  

Yes, Isabelle de Borchgrave constructs all these costumes and accessories out of paper. Down to the painted lace, feathers and shoes.

I visited1 the exhibit last week and was completely in awe of the works. Not only has the paper been manipulated to look like fabric, but the details are just completely mind-boggling. I don't think the photos do the pieces justice but here's a taste of the exhibit.

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1 We visited the exhibit on the same day I did the photo shoot for this week's creation and I was all dolled up in my Marie Antoinette-lite attire as we went on a docent tour with about twenty other women. Needless to say I felt a little embarrassed as we shown the Marie Antoinette gown. My look kind of screamed "I'M A MARIE ANTOINETTE SUPERFAN!!!"


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. Stunning!!! My jaw dropped when these pictures loaded… how neat to be able to see them in person. So wish I had an excuse to visit the Bay Area this spring. ;)
    ♥ Casey

  2. Yet another excuse to visit SF – the list is getting longer!! It is amazing that these gowns are made from paper, there are some very clever people in the world … thank goodness!!

  3. Those are unbelievable! I’m in awe…what an amazing job the artist has done…!