Art Soiree Presents: Salon After Hours

I recently attended the first of Art Soiree’s newest event, Salon After Hours. They choose a talented salon in the DC area and collaborate to create a memorable night celebrating the art of beauty. First up was the David Rios Salon and Spa in Georgetown neighborhood in DC. It was a night full of visual delights as attendees were able to witness the stylists and makeup artists prepare the finishing touches on the models, then watch it all come together in motion with a mini runway show.

Makeup artist, Michelle, completes her look inspired by painter Roy Lichtenstein’s work.

The team at David Rios spent countless hours to prepare for this event. They chose to take inspiration from some of the greatest artists and masterpieces in art history to create the looks they premiered that night. There was also the chance to meet the stylists themselves to chat about their work and experience. Everyone that I met from the salon was very gracious and friendly, and their enthusiasm for their passion was contagious! Based on what I saw, I would highly recommend checking out the crew at the David Rios Salon & Spa. They know how to make you look good (and also know how to throw a party)!

For the full album of the event at the David Rios Salon, see it here!

If you’re in the DC area and haven’t heard about Art Soiree, I suggest you check them out! They host many events throughout the year, sharing their taste and joy of the arts. Tonight I will be attending the next event for Art Soiree’s Salon After Hours at Roche Salon, so stay tuned for part 2!

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Prêt-à-Papier Show at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens

And I thought learning to make an origami crane was a feat…

Recently I attended an event hosted by The Art Soiree that centered around the current exhibit at the Hillwood Estate in DC, Prêt-à-Papier. The exhibit features stunning handmade, full scale dresses created by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. The kicker is that each of the garments and accessories on display are made of just regular craft paper, paint, maybe a little glitter here and there, and glue to hold it together. That’s pretty much it!  Each piece truly is a work of art, painstakingly constructed and painted in a process that takes an average of 3 months per dress – and that includes having the help of studio assistants. The works presented at Prêt-à-Papier draw inspiration from fashions throughout the 17th to early 20th century. The artist appears to be drawn to the royal grandeur and intricacies of the time periods. Before turning her focus on creating the paper costumes she’s now known for, De Borchgrave was an accomplished trompe l’oeil painter. “Trompe l’oeil” is a French term which means “to fool the eye” and refers to the art technique of rendering 2-D images with incredible realism. That painting experience seamlessly translates into the 3-D realm as De Borchgrave demonstrates her skill in manipulating the materials to create the illusion of satin, lace and other textiles in each fragile piece. It’s an accomplishment that photos can’t do full justice. The show is a delicious treat for the eyes, and yes, the pieces absolutely put your 3rd grade papier-mâché volcano project to shame.

In addition to the main exhibit in Hillwood’s Adirondack Building, you will find other pieces of Isabelle’s work sprinkled throughout the mansion itself where her garment asserts itself into the lush surroundings. When I took the tour, I was amazed to see how different each garment looked from the next. It seemed like De Borchgrave could make anything out of paper and paint! I never knew one could push its properties so far. This show is certainly worth seeing if you have any interest in fashion, paper crafts, or looking at cool stuff.

The exhibit is currently running until Dec. 30th. More info about the Prêt-à-Papier show and Hillwood Mansion can be found here.

Here’s some of what I captured during my visit:

Not nearly as grand as the dresses in the exhibit, but I did alright. Dress: ASOS; Gold bracelets, ring and belt: Target. Photo Credit: Art Soiree

Check out more pictures on Purple Paintbrush’s Facebook page!