Isabella de Borchgrave

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Isabella de Borchgrave work is very inspiring to me dew to my fondness of historical art and clothing as she has created sculptured historical dresses created out of paper. Within her work she mainly looks at historical dresses worn by historical figures and does a copy of that dress in her own style.

Isabella de Borchgrave first started off beginning to give children, neighborhood friends and family drawing classes. Isabella started to travel to go and see new cultures to help her design ideas expand. She visited the Metropolitan Museum in New York on her travels and this museum inspired her to work on her first collection which was dressed created out of paper through the 300 year period from Elizabeth 1 to Coco Channel. Even though she creates sculptures she hasn’t stopped painting and exhibiting her paintings.


My first impression of Isabella’s work is that she has looked into historical dresses created in the summer and in the Georgian era. What captures my attention is the neatly painted patterns and detail on the paper sculpted dress. This work brings to mind a dress from a historical period that was worn in the summer for lunch in the sun. This work makes you feel quite bright dew to the bright summery colours used on the dress, it gives you a sense of warmth and summer.

Within the piece of work Isabella is looking at historical period dresses and manipulating them into a paper sculpture and then painted over to apply detail and patterns within the dress.What I see with this dress is lovely ruffled arm cuffs, and very bright vines around the dress with brightly coloured orange and purple flowers. The work is realistic however the way Isabella creates the work is very abstract and modern way dew it being created out of paper. The dress is historical and old and if we looked into the history of the dress we may find a historical figure wearing the dress and then there may be a historical story to go with the dress giving a nice feel of mystery dew to where and when and who would have worn a dress like this in the historical period.

The design of this dress is quite structured, the lines involved in the piece are a mixture of curved, directional, thin and strong to accomplish the vein effect Isabella was aiming for. The colours are bright, warm colours that give a successfully feeling of summer and beautiful sunny weather. The painting on the dress is realistic dew to it being based on patterns in the historical period, the dress would probably have quite a rough texture to it because of the paper.

I believe this work does contain a high technical skill to create such a delicate piece of work as paper is easily torn and ripped so a lot of patience and time would have been delved within the work. Then to paint on top of the paper would have been a very delicate and patient job to make sure you didn’t press to hard on the paper and rip it and to make sure the patterns were realistic and if looking at old historical dresses and creating a replica the pattern would have to be very similar. I think this piece of artwork is very effective as you can see that she has created a dress sculpture based on historical periods, it looks very realistic and you sometimes have to look twice to believe that it is actually is created out of paper and isn’t a real historical dress.


My first impression of this dress is that Isabella has looked into a historical period probably the Tudor era and looked at a evening gown or travelling gown. What captures my attention is the painted on gold detail the ruffled neck and the gloves. This work brings to mind a lady’s evening gown dew to the jewels and brightness of the gown or a travelling gown dew to the gloves which was probably worn in the Tudor era. The colours in the work are quite blue and cold and it’s quite a dismal dress dew to the colours.

Within the work Isabella has created gloves, headdress and dress out of paper and then painted the detail on top of the paper. I see a bright blue dress decorate do it here gold thread and jewels. The work is realistic, old and historical. I would say if I looked at this piece the story I see is that an older married woman in historical times would have worn this travelling around and for an evening gown.

The dress is very structured and lines used within this are structured and straight to compose the detail within the dress. The colours used are gold and blue mainly, this gives off a very cold, cool atmosphere. The texture of the dress would be quite rough dew to it being made out paper and paint.

I believe this work is effective as you can tell it’s a dress, the paint adds al the detail and you can look at the historical dresses and notice that is where she finds inspiration for her


My first impression of this dress is that it’s from the Georgian era and  is a wedding gown. What captures my attention is how realistic it looks and the detail the paper and paint has created and captured. This work brings to mind the wedding gown in the film The Duchess based around The Duchess of Devonshire.

Within the work Isabella has created a wedding gown from a historical period, out of paper and paint. The work is realistic, old and historical. The story behind this piece of dress in my eyes is that a wealthy family has organised a marriage as the dress is frilly, large in size and looks like it belongs to a wealthy family as people who had no money in historical times wouldn’t have been able to afford a dress with such extravagance.

This is the start of my own design in her style sadly I didn’t get to finish it within my timing I had however I know for certain if I could redo this drawing I would try and get it finished as it started off as a good piece.





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