Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Fortuny was passionate about textiles, having grown up with family who similarly loved them, and collected examples of special fabrics and weaves from the world over. So there were examples right to hand all the time, from which he could learn and draw inspirations. One of the chief sources of this were the samples of velvets from the 1500s. From them his aesthetic developed into a clear cut, and instantly recognizable expression.
He mastered the technique of block printing first in his own artwork, and later applied this notion to textiles; using metallic and colored inks onto silk, and cotton velvets, creating something that looked entirely outside of time. His coats, cloaks, wraps, and dresses of block printed fabrics look as though the walked from some fantasy of the late Medieval, or early Renaissance eras, and yet have a quality to them that removes them from mere stylishness, and places them in some eternally beautiful realm.
The Peplos dress was a variation on the theme, taking the Delphos dress and adding an over-tunic to it that fell in points at the hem, weighted again, with clay beads.
Paired with his signature stenciled velvet coats and wraps, the final effect of these dresses was completely beguiling. And you can readily see why women still want them with the passion they do.
Feast your eyes.