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Mariano Fortuny and Delphos, his dress in pleated fabric

from Annalisa Chelli - 27/03/2015

Annalisa Chelli

Mariano Fortuny and Delphoshis dress in pleated fabric. An article of clothing which immediately became a legend. Mariano Fortuny, who was born in Granada in 1871 but acquired Italian citizenship, was a versatile creative talent.

pleated fabric

He was a painter, a set designer, an engineer, a photographer, an inventor and a designer, and his most important contribution was in the field of textile printing techniques, to which he contributed both by experimenting with new coloring agent combinations and by using patterns that were directly taken from - or inspired by - the past. He held a number of dyeing and mechanical patents, and also had a great commercial intuition: to use cotton, a natural and inexpensive fabric, like a precious fabric. If properly dyed and printed, it could almost equal the beauty of a richer, more sophisticated brocade.

The Delphos dress in pleated fabric

However, the highest expression of his talent came with the creation of the Delphos dress, reminiscent of the tunics of Greek sculptures.

A dress with an essential design and shiny colors, lightly wrapping the female body. It was made from silk produced by worms imported from China, and made even more beautiful by the Venetian murrine decorating the drawstrings. And above all, it was made unique by an irregular pleating which became the symbol of Fortuny's creations. Delphos was a first, important example of prêt-à-porter, an article of clothing which could be easily carried around the world - as it is so impalpable that it can even be packed in a small box - while at the same time making women as wonderful as Greek goddesses, without them having to give up the practicality of modern times. Delphos has become part of the History of Fashion, as proven by the fact that the fans of vintage clothes are always looking for one, even though only few lucky women can afford to buy it.

Mariano Fortuny chose to live in Venice, which is where his historic house museum, Palazzo Fortuny, is. We recommend you visit it if you happen to be in the Lagoon. You won't be disappointed: Museo Fortuny

Why don't you let the DHG Textiles inspire you?