Unlike the more popular expositions on display today in Paris such as Yves Saint Laurent’s exhibition and Christian Dior’s “Couturier du Reve”, Fortuny’s “Un Espagnol à Venise” offers a more intimate and underrated look at this designer’s creation and contribution to the fashion industry.
For those not familiar, Mariano Fortuny was a famed Spanish designer in the early 20th century. He was born into a family of artists which explains his love for exploring various mediums, whether it be photography, theatre, architecture or painting. But it was ultimately his work in the fashion industry that made him a household name.
This exhibition showcases Fortuny’s diverse love for all things related to art and how it contributed to his body of work. His exposure to various textiles, prints, and patterns in his youth allowed him to create innovative pieces. More so, his carefully crafted creations were a reflection of his fascination for different eras and cultures from Ancient Greek to Japanese Kimonos.
After a century later, Fortuny’s legacy continues to be a source of inspiration for fashion designers and artists alike. Evidently, Valentino’s S/S16 Haute Couture used his work as a basis for its collection, from fine Venetian prints to the use of velvet and of course the Delphos Gown which Fortuny pioneered. This floor length pleated dress with embroideries and beadings from head to toe was a masterpiece of its own, worth checking out at the museum.
Though this is the final installment out of three for Palais Galliera‘s “Spanish Season”, any fashion enthusiast would definitely take pleasure in looking through this timeless and exquisite exposition.