Fashioning Art from Paper

I don't think I have ever re-published a story in all the years I have been blogging, until now.  I had originally seen Isabelle de Borchgrave in Washington at Doris Duke's home, Hillwood,  When her exhibit popped up in Palm Beach all these years later, I wanted MORE.  These paper creations are so poetic, so ethereal!  There was a Q and A with Isabelle herself making a rare appearence.   It was fun to here the story I painted for you here, from her own French accented lips.

Isabelle de Borchgrave, a Belgian artist, after a visit to the Met, began thinking about the stunning period clothing she had seen and wondered, "What those would be like if made out of paper?"  She turned her eye towards tromp l'oeil paper costumes.

This painting by Francois Boucher of  Madame de Pompadour inspired de Borchgrave's dress depicting the excess of mid 17th C France.

"Crumpled, pleated, and painted, ordinary paper becomes haute couture in the hands of the Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave."

From a distance you cannot tell this is not fabric, beads, trim, pearls, jewels, and lace.  She manipulates the humble material into extraordinary interpretations of costumes from museums around the world.

These highly complicated to reproduce costumes are very true to the original inspiration that they are inspired by. This is Isabelle's trademark.  You can see (in person) the painstaking detail that goes into every piece she creates, and she isn't one to shy away from the heavily embellished, accessorized or highly stylized dresses.

Robe à la polouaise is an ankle length dress with 3 distinct draped sections operated by a cord pulley system.  Can you imagine?  To further complicate the project, the paper was waxed for a contrasting, see thru effect.  I literally stood there agape for 10 minutes examining every nuance of this gown.

A Mantua dress ~ a T shaped dress worn by the ladies in the court of England.  The intricate bodice and wide hips made this the most challenging dress in the collection

To date she has reinterpreted four collections:

 I Medici ~

Fortuny ~

Ballets Russes ~

ph:Renee Stoeltie

Papiers à la Mode ~ a fresh look at 300 years of fashion.  This is the largest collection.

Poiret, Lanvin, and Redfern inspired these paper dolls and represented a loosening up of the corseted dresses of the previous century.

Some costumes were placed in the rooms at Hillwood.  In some cases, an outfit was inspired by the decor of the room or a painting hanging on the wall, almost as if it jumped off the canvas.

Japanese textiles inspired this robe for Tsar Peter the Great ~

In Isabella's deft hands, Countess Samoilova's dress, lifted from the painting, appears carefree and quite accurate in its depiction.

Some of Isabelle's creations are in permanent exhibitions around the world.  She is often commissioned to create something specific, as in the case of Jackie Kennedy's wedding gown in the Kennedy Memorial in Boston.  She said this was one of the hardest dresses she ever created.

She also creates designs for paper products and porcelain for Gien.  You have probably seen her work and not even realized it.

For Target ~

For Caspari ~

To read more about Isabelle, there are several books including Pulp Fashion

 The exhibit at Society of the Four Arts will be there until April 15th 2018. If you are in Palm Beach, it is a. must see.

My Mind is in the Mountains

I don't know if it's because it's cold in Florida or because I am usually in the mountains about now, but my mind has been in the mountains this week.

When it warms up,  When I take off the sweaters, I'll get into the Miami state of mind, but until then... I am looking for a fireplace and a warm blanket.

I not only loved this property because it's gorgeous, but I loved the fact that a pair of in-laws grew close after their kids married, and that when a lot became available in Sun Valley, one couple built next to the other couple so they could all be close.  I love that on so many levels!

The owners envisioned a 6,000 square foot getaway that was calm and welcoming for generations to come.  They used the same team that their in-laws used, so the architect, Jim McLaughlin, builder McQueen Construction and designer Jennifer Hoey had the luxury of designing for both families.

Reclaimed wood and hand hewn timbers picked by hand one at a time, and French limestone floors give their new construction an old world look, but with a sense of permanence.  Most rooms are oriented towards the dramatic mountain range, others to the river.  It's equal parts rustic and elegant.

What a beautiful home for family and friends to gather, no matter the season.  I think it's picture perfect!

Photos by Gibeon Photography


High Times

We never know where our journey will lead us.  That's one of the most beautiful things about being open to whatever.  On my journey from fashion to interiors, incorporating coaching along the way, I now find myself helping my husband in his new business venture (as if I am not busy enough).  My gastroenterologist husband is now a certifying medical marijuana physician.  I have been helping him, in as much as I can.  Like  anything new,  I had to educate myself on all of this, or reeducate myself as the case may be, since I am approaching it now from a different perspective.

I am absolutely convinced that within 5 years, this will become so mainstream we'll wonder what all the fuss was  about.  I am not saying there aren't serious questions that arise and need to be investigated.  I cannot predict the future, but I do know once you open Pandora's box, there is no going back.  It is so new to Pennsylvania, we look to other states to see where it is going and how businesses are embracing it.

The relief is real so it would be an obvious choice for the wellness community to embrace it with open arms.  It is being incorporated in all kinds of ways.  Massage therapists incorporate oils and tinctures into a massage.  If you have not heard of the food industry jumping on the bandwagon in a big way, you soon will.  I'm not talking about gummy bears and chocolate brownies either.  High end caterers and chefs are creating recipes that include cannabis as the ingredient du jour.

ph:Toan Trinh

Veterinarians have been prescribing cannabis for animals with much success for some time, helping with everything from separation anxiety to joint issues.  Marijuana is moving from the recreational, depending on your state, and medicinal into the spiritual realm.  Yogis are incorporating it into their yoga practice as a means to become more deeply relaxed and enable practitioners to attain enlightenment, the ultimate goal of yoga.


I am not even necessarily talking about getting high.  There are salves, lotions, drops, oils and who knows what else that helps with our aches and pains.  These products do not have the THC properties.  Again, this is on a state by state basis.  THC is where the high comes from.  CBD is a component of cannabis and does not get you high.  There is however, a mind body property that is a nice component of cannabis that relaxes one without the mind altering effect.

Terpene or terpenoid profiles give cannabis its scent, like an essential oil.   We now need to think outside the box.  So, when you think in terms of aromatherapy oils, and experimenting with scent it opens a whole other way to think about cannibis.   How else can we use it, in what other products?  The home sector is an obvious next step!  I have no idea where this will all lead, but mark my words, whether you agree or disagree, marijuana is becoming mainstream and we have no idea where it will all lead.

It is a sustainable green industry, no pun intended, that continues to become more refined as it grows (I keep doing it, don't I)?

This is like the wild west ~ the future is unknown.  I find that terribly exciting.  Whatever your view, pro or con, business is booming!  Baby boomers are one of the biggest demographics to acknowledge the benefits of medicinal marijuana as we all look for pain relief from the natural ravages of time and illness.  With addiction out of control, the days of overprescribing opioids are coming to an end!  We need alternatives.  This is one and it's  here and here to stay.

Kitchen Dreaming

Bakes and Kropp

I have been dreaming of a new kitchen as of late.  It would definitely include warm wood with a rustic touch, a contemporary, clean lined aesthetic with lots of built in gadgets and mixed metals.

 These are some pictures I am inspired by at this time.  Insert sigh here.

I am wowed by a sculptural statement

and herringbone or chevron patterned floors to bring in an old world yet totally contemporary feel.  This mirrored island is to die for, but the fingerprint situation creates drawbacks.

Anne Louise Due de Fønss

I am over my beige cabinets.  I want white and bright!  While white kitchens are still trending, warmth is built in by way of layered materials,

Jute Interior Design

Jennifer Asmar

and open to the gorgeousness of a combination of woods.

Marble is a must have for me but quartz is a close second.  Dark countertops are reappearing.  Apparently, as told to me by a realtor, "Nobody wants granite right now."  Hood ranges are becoming an obvious focal point when upper cabinets are omitted.

I love the open shelf concept.  Open shelving is not going anywhere.  It's an obvious place to make a statement.

I am dying for a waterfall countertop, perhaps with a niche

I always wanted a built in coffee maker just because its too cool for school.  Reclaimed wood or anything rustic makes my heart pitter patter.  Pecky cypress bridges the rustic and the refined.

And if it included a Lindsey Adelman light fixture, I'd be forever grateful

Kelly Behun

A WOW  moment is never off trend.
Grey was on everyone's hit list last year, but  blue or blue-grey are making more of an appearance. According to Elle Decor, sage is the color of the season.

Charlotte Lucas

A girl can dream

Photos from Pinterest.  If any of these projects are yours or you know whose they are, let me know so I can give credit where credit is due