Papiers à la Mode
The story begins with a visit to the great retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. This exhibition moved Isabelle deeply and made her want to tell, in her own way, an illustrated history of fashion. In collaboration with Rita Brown, an expert in historical costume, Isabelle threw herself into making dresses. They used two types of paper, which they put together, folded, creased and dyed to accurately recreate costumes that tell the story of fashion. The costumes of many museums around the world, along with countless other sources of inspiration, were behind this productive endeavour. For example, Isabelle produced several paper costumes that ranged in time period from the reign of Elisabeth I of England and Marie-Antoinette to the era of Chanel, Worth, Dior and Poiret. The result is an astounding collection of dresses, waistcoats and accessories made of paper painted in trompe l'œil, so real and so lifelike that you want to touch, feel and stroke the taffetas, the silks, the laces and the embroidered velvets, creating illusions that are even more magical than the fabrics themselves. This huge collection became an international success with nearly one million visitors worldwide, to date.