Isabelle de Borchgrave at Bellevue Arts Museum

The odds of you ending up in Bellevue, Washington in the next six days are slim, I know, but I can't help myself. Because should you happen to be in the Seattle area in the next six days, I urge you (urge, such a creepy word) to go to Bellevue Arts Museum to see A World of Paper, A World of Fashion: Isabelle de Borchgrave Meets Mariano Fortuny before it closes this Sunday, February 16.

You won't regret it.

Here's a little background on the exhibit from the Museum: "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 that 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." 

I had seen de Borchgrave's work before in an exhibit at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in DC. But this exhibit was different. This was quantity on top of quality. This was pattern and texture colliding with paper and detail and a Greco-influence.

This exhibit was insane.

If I could have taken pictures, I would have but the Museum won't let you. So you'll just have to take my advice and go see the work in person.

And please, hurry.

Speaking of fashion, I'd love to see this documentary about Diana Vreeland. Have you seen this one? And this is a fun fashion-related book for kids.

Image source.