Timeless Fortuny


Let's elaborate on Fortuny for a second, the last of my Italian inspirations.  Having seeing it live and in person in Venice, it re-kindled my love of this timeless beauty.  While wandering I passed one of their showrooms and stopped dead.  The lighting called me in.  Now Fortuny was multi talented and primarily known for his work in textiles but he also experimented with set and lighting design.    He eventually created a cyclorama dome that facilitated lighting effects, as well as a lamp that both magnified and diffused light.  

I spotted not only this gorgeous building but these classic tiered silk chandeliers all floating above.  This beauty - the Scheherazade 2 tier silk ($6,500) and the metal Scudo Saraceno ($2,800).  Statement pieces for sure !

I also saw a row of Studio and Atelier Series Floor lamps.  Really good !!  All about $3,800 and up.  Totally worth it in my opinion - statement pieces for sure.  Now Restoration Hardware carries them which breaks my heart a little, somehow that cheapens them to me... Ugg RH.  Don't get me started.  

Also love the Cupola's.  Come in both black and white - about $1,600. 

Just love them all !

Mariano Fortuny is best known for his textile design which are some of the most enduring designs of the 20th century.  Beloved by so many designers (and prized by their clients), Fortuny patterns don't seem to ever get old. Let's take a look at the story behind these fabrics, as well as the surprising other designs of Mariano himself.

Mariano Fortuny born in Spain, in 1871, the son of an important genre painter. The family moved to Paris in 1874 and then to Venice in 1889. Along the way, it became clear that Fortuny was a talented artist in many media. In addition to painting and sculpting, Fortuny would bind his own books, and make his own paints and dyes.
In 1907, he began designing women's dresses. His overall aesthetic was clearly inspired by the classical past, with column gowns suggesting the draped folds of Grecian chiton.   But the historicism of his clothes was balanced by the material, which Fortuny worked into tiny, fine pleats on machines he invented and patented . Fortuny's dresses were also characterized by rich jewel tones, achieved through multiple dye baths.

Due to the nature of the process, every run is different, and has a visible handcrafted quality. Fortuny's fabrics are characterized by their elegant designs, painterly lines, and dusty jewel colors, often with a metallic sheen. There are textile companies that sell "faux-tuny" designs, but after you've seen a few Fortuny's up close, it's easy to spot the fakes, which inevitably lack the delicate colors, hand-painted quality and grace of the originals. 

Peggy Guggenheim

Shortly after he launched his fashion career, Fortuny began designing the furnishing textiles he is still famous for.   From the beginning, these designs were clearly inspired by Italian Renaissance textiles, which in turn were heavily influenced by Islamic, Persian and Morish art. Later Fortuny designs also incorporated the Symbolist art of the era, as well as new 'exotic' influences like Mayan design. With his textile designs and production, Fortuny combined his lifelong interests in engineering, art, color, design, decoration, fashion and history.
After Fortuny died in 1949, his widow turned the company over to Elsie McNeil Lee, a New York-based decorator who owned American distribution of Fortuny designs. She helmed the company for decades before selling to the Riad family, who owns it now. With an archive of around 800 original Mariano Fortuny designs, the company re-produces about 40 designs per year.

We have an account with Fortuny and what a nice gesture - gifting us this great read.

Happy Saturday.