Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper
February 19, 2021 – August 22, 2021


Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave (born 1946). Following a visit to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in 1994, de Borchgrave began working in the new medium, creating trompe l’œilpaper works in what eventually would become four major paper fashion collections.

The first, Papiers à la Mode (Paper in Fashion), takes a fresh look at three hundred years of fashion history from Elizabeth I to the Ballets Russes. The World of Mariano Fortuny immerses museum-goers in the elegant world of twentieth-century Venice. Splendor of the Medici leads visitors through the streets of Florence, where they come across famous figures in their sumptuous ceremonial dress. And in Les Ballets Russes, de Borchgrave pays tribute to Sergei Diaghilev, Pablo Picasso, Léon Bakst, and Henri Matisse, who all designed for this extraordinary ballet company.

For this exhibition, all four collections will be presented together, for the first time, in a survey of de Borchgrave’s innovative work. Along with these pieces, a series of kaftans highlighting Silk Road textiles will be included as well.


Enjoy virtual programs inspired by the exhibition via the show’s YouTube Playlist! 

Press Coverage

This exhibition is organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, in cooperation with Isabelle de Borchgrave Studio.

This exhibition is supported by:
W. L. Lyons Brown, Jr. Foundation
(Cary Brown & Steven Epstein)
Hardscuffle, Inc.

Media sponsorship from:
Exhibition season sponsored by: 
Cary Brown and Steven E. Epstein
Paul and Deborah Chellgren
Debra and Ronald Murphy