Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pret-A-Papier

My Mom and I decided to have a girls day and take a trip to Hillwood Estate and Museum. Its tucked away in Rock Creek Park and wandering around the feels like you've been whisked away to Europe, not DC. It was bought by Marjorie Merriweather Post and filled with treasures like this chandelier and Russian Imperial Crown. 
Unlike a museum, the artwork and artifacts are in all of the living spaces, so you really get the feel of what it was like to live there. Every few steps you see something more decadent than the last-- I personally wouldn't mind taking home a chandelier and necklace or two...






















While the estate is an exhibit in and of itself, the real reason we came today was to see "Pret-A-Papier," an exhibit of Isabelle de Borchgrave's works. She is a Belgian artist who recreates haute couture, both past and present, with decadent colors, patterns and intricate textures. With inspiration ranging from Marie Antoinette to 1920's Lanvin, her handiwork is incredible....and a bit of an illusion. None of these dresses are made with even a scrap of cloth-- they are done entirely with paper. 

Even up close, its hard to imagine that the pleating, draping, and beautiful patterns are done with fabric (its also REALLY hard to not touch them, but I managed to keep my hands to myself.)



 French 18th century in the style of Marie Antoinette



 {Clockwise from top left} 18th Century Housedress, French 18th Century Dress a La Polonaise, Fortuny Dresses, 1924 Lanvin Recreation



Details of the fan dress, the train and dress based on one worn to Napoleon's wedding

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