Art Museum Outing – Isabelle de Borchgrave Exhibit

Town Center residents were amazed when we entered the “Isabelle de Borchgrave” exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Countess de Borchgrave is a Belgian artist who has been working in different mediums for years. Several years ago, she decided to reproduce in paper, famous gowns, costumes, and clothing garments dating from Queen Elizabeth I to Chanel, spanning over 500 years of styles. She began experimenting by fashioning art from paper. The beautiful Trompe l’oeil paper costumes look so real, it is hard to believe they aren’t made of cloth. One collection is from the Medici family, showing fashions for men, women and children…each one copied from photographs of the Medici family wearing those same garments. This collection also includes costumes from Les Ballet Russe, very colorful and authentic as you can see in the murals behind the display of costumes. Another area of this collection includes styles from Central Asia, Kaftans inspired by their beautiful silk textiles.

Residents walked through the entire exhibit in awe, wanting to touch each one. You could get close enough to see the detail on each one, including the lace (which is really paper) the jewelry, hats, hair, shoes, purses…all paper. We watched a video of Countess de Borchgrave creating the collection from the very beginning. She would take a large piece of paper and paint designs on the paper in minutes. She is now experimenting in making garments from paper and dipping them in bronze. The video showed her newest venture as she puts together another collection…although she says this one will be heavier to move around and ship out of the country! This is the first time this entire collection has been shown in America. In the gift shop, you could buy earrings, bracelets and necklaces made of paper from her collection. One of our residents bought a pair of earrings and said they were the lightest earrings she has ever wore!

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