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Speed Art Museum's newest exhibit features ornate fashion designs, all made of paper

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave turned the 2D clothing from famous paintings into sculptures using paper.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Speed Art Museum’s newest exhibit is one you have to see in person to believe. What look like ornate gowns from centuries past made of silk and buttons and pearls, are really all fashioned out of paper.

Isabelle de Borchgrave took paintings from as far back as the 1700s and turned them into designs made completely out of paper.

“What she did was not just creating a sculpture, but figuring out, 'how would I find the paper, treat the paper, fold it, turn it into these incredibly ornate costumes,'” Speed Art Museum Director Stephen Reily said.

The Belgian artist took 2D images and brought them into the 3D sphere. Twenty years ago, de Borchgrave started looking at fashion in paintings closely and began to replicate the pieces in the form of sculpture.

Credit: WHAS

That includes dresses and costumes throughout centuries and across the world. But it didn’t stop there, she included accessories like handbags and shoes too.

It’s all about taking art and turning it into another work of art in the form of fashion. You’ll get an idea of what people were wearing in a particular time period in a very intricate and detailed way.

“It really makes you look at the painting differently,” Reily said. “Thinking about history, art history, through these incredible, incredibly imaginative works of paper sculpture,” said Reily.

This collection will be on display at the Speed Art Museum until August, giving off a sense of whimsy during a tough time.

Credit: WHAS

“We love sharing this exhibit with the community, just to come enjoy the sheer fantasy of imagination and art at a time where we need a little bit of that,” Reily said.

You can reserve tickets online. The Speed Art Museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday in March.

Contact reporter Rose McBride at rmcbride@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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