A few years ago I was lucky to find a watery “Venetian lagoon blue” silk velvet Fortuny gown. Old…of course. Very early and without a label…but clearly authentic. Ladies would send their pleated silk gowns back to Fortuny after sitting would eventually press their pleats flat…and he would use his secret process to re-pleat the silk and send it back to his clients. The entirely pleated Delphos gowns were light enough to inspire Venetian Murano beads to weight them, and could be coiled into a small round box for storage. Mariano Fortuny (more here) used proprietary techniques for both pleating and hand dyeing and stenciling his silks and silk velvets. The hand created texture and colors, and even the slight wear of time at the edges, elevate the dresses to a piece of art. Foruny’s father was both a celebrated painter, and ardent collector of 18th c and earlier textiles…and early textiles clearly influence Mariano Fortuny’s work. Here is a one of my favorite 18th century pieces…a French silk satin “Bizarre” patterned cape, with large swirls of stylized peach pomegranates. So futuristic…and exuberant…from three hundred years ago. If you study Fortuny patterns you can see the reference to 16th-18th century design.
The fabulous pleats…waves of teal blue…
The sleeves and edges of the gown tied and set with Murano beads…
Fortuny Palazzo website here if you want to plan a trip around an exhibit.
I am no longer blogging at Trouvais, but keeping the best of the site as is for those who would like to travel through some old content.
As evidenced earlier in my blog, my love for 18th c costume and textile continues. Some of my collection can be viewed here Trouvais Collection
And occasionally sell pieces on Etsy here
I enjoyed sharing my discoveries and delights with all of you!
Very best wishes, Trish