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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fortuny y Madrazo Exhibit

fortuny delphos dress
fortuny exhibit museum
Mariano Fortuny came from a prominent artistic family in Spain.  His most famous contributions to fashion history were his revolutionary pleated fabrics and Delphos dresses.  He also brought in the exotic references from Asia, Africa and multi-cultural muses of his travels into luxury dressing.

A new exhibit at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute examines Fortuny's work and inspiration.  Curated by Oscar de la Renta, the show shows a large range of his fashion designs, but also his paintings, photography and etchings.  There are photographs that Fortuny took in Greece and Morocco, as well as self portraits and one of his studio.  He was also ahead of his time in photographing his clothing designs on models from many different angles, so viewers could have a virtual 360 degree view like a modern lookbook.

He pioneered the hand pleating technique of his signature fabric (that no one has yet to replicate).  The light, airy Delphos dress was a rebel against the corseted silhouettes of recent past, and he weighted the dress down to hold its shape with glass beads.  He had a partner in his wife Henrietta, who was also an accomplished dressmaker and artist on his beautiful textile designs.  He created his own dyes and pigments for his artwork, some of which were marketed with his name.

I am floored (and envious) of Mariano Fortuny's rich life of such artistic creativity.  Besides painting, photography, textile and fashion design, he also was a theater and lighting designer... His family legacy had generations of artistic accomplishment that led to him, his family peers were the greatest artists of the century.  Being able to work with his wife, living in a gorgeous palazzo in Venice...Sounds heavenly doesn't it?   You must check out this exhibit!

Fortuny y Madrazo: An Artistic Legacy
Queen Sofia Spanish Institute
November 30, 2012 - March 30, 2012

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