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A World of Paper, A World of Fashion: Isabelle de Borchgrave Meets Mariano Fortuny

November 21, 2013 - February 16, 2014

For more than fifteen years, Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave has been producing a completely original body of work that is easy to explain but difficult to categorize. Her central project revolves around recreating exquisite, life-size historical costumes and fabrics entirely out of paper. Taking inspiration from depictions in early European paintings, iconic costumes, period photographs, sketches, and descriptions, de Borchgrave skillfully works paper to achieve her aims: crumpling, pleating, braiding, feathering, and painting the surface to mimic textile effects and fool the eye of the viewer. The artist has forms spanning more than 500 years of fashion history. This exhibition presents one of these six collections, inspired by Mariano Fortuny, a Spanish-born eccentric whose designs were the height of fashion in the early 20th century. In the exhibition's North American debut, BAM is pleased to present Isabelle de Borchgrave's Fortuny collection in its entirety, offering a rare glimpse into the minds of not one, but two influential artistic figures.


Isabelle de Borchgrave
The Oriental Tent, (detail), 2008
Fortuny Collection
Courtesy of Isabelle de Borchgrave Studio

Photo: Créations Isabelle de Borchgrave


Organized by the studio of Isabelle de Borchgrave, in collaboration with Bellevue Arts Museum. Local presentation curated by Stefano Catalani and made possible in part by Boeing.

Exhibition furnishings generously provided by Polly McArthur & Associates, Seattle

Opening Celebration
November 22, 2013

Join us for a highly-anticipated evening of excitement as we unveil an incomparable array of opulent, life-size paper costumes, accessories, and interiors made by internationally acclaimed Belgian artist, Isabelle de Borchgrave. These lavish creations are inspired by the timelessly sophisticated designs of Mariano Fortuny, the famous Spanish-born designer well-known for his elegant fabrics that are still being made today by the textile house of Fortuny.

Festivities include presentations, lively entertainment, hors d'oeuvres, specialty wines and spirits and more.

VIP Reception 5-6:30pm
(Exclusive preview for BAM members and special guests)
Become a BAM member by November 15 and receive complementary tickets to the Opening Celebration.
Current BAM members please RSVP >

Public Opening 6:30-9:00pm
(Ticketed event)
Tickets are $35 and are available for purchase through Eventbrite >

Other Related Events

Free First Friday Talks:
Jill D'Alessandro: Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning History

Friday, December 6, 6:30 - 7:30pm