Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo 出生於1871年西班牙的Granada，他的父親在他三歲的時候過世，隨後Fortuny便跟著母親移居巴黎，並且開始他對於藝術的學習．18歲時，全家前往威尼斯旅行，認為這個城市是藝術的中心便從1890年後永久定居在威尼斯．從此之後，Fortuny雖然在世界各地都有開店，但他創作的中心仍舊以威尼斯為主．他在1897年認識了Henriette Negrin，之後成為他的妻子．Harriette本身在巴黎時就是訂製服的師傅，因此對於Fortuny來說是相當大的助力，在日後Fortuny奔波世界各地拓展事業時，Henriette則在工坊裡處理技術上的問題．
Mariano Fortuny was born in 1871 in Granada, Spain. When Fortuny was 3 years old, his father died. His mother moved with him to Paris, where he soon started to take an interest in art. When he was 18, a family trip to Venice made such an impression on the Fortuny family that they decided to move to what they considered the centre of the art world. (In later life, even once he had opened shops around the world, Venice was always his creative centre.) In 1897 he married Henriette Negrin. She was not only his model and muse but also a couturier. Henriette took care of everything in the workshop as Fortuny expanded his ventures across the globe.
Mariano Fortuny Y Madrazo
1922年與美國設計師，Elise Lee McNeill，一同成立公司，但McNeill接著轉手Countess Gozzi，Fortuny在Island La Guidecca的工作室便由他的太太接手．Fortuny 1949年過世後，便沒有再生產服裝．Countess Gozzi則持續推廣Fortuny的作品直到過世．1998年後，事業便由Countess Gozzi的律師Maged Riad接手，21世紀後，Maged Riad的孩子成為在紐約公司的負責人，而Riad的兄弟則成為La Guidecca工坊的創意總監．
Mariano Fortuny set up his brand with an American interior designer, Elise Lee McNeill, and later with Countess Gozzi. His wife Henriette took care of his studio on the island of La Giudecca. After his death in 1949, no more garments were produced, but Countess Gozzi still promoted Fortuny’s work until she died in <year>. The rights were sold to lawyer Maged Riad on her death. In the 21st century, Riad’s children have become the representatives of the firm in New York and his brother became director of workshop on the island of La Giudecca.
Fortuny was influenced by theatre arts and inspired by his parents’ collections of antique textiles, he began printing his own textile designs from 1906 in Palazzo Orfei which was his studio in Venice. He was interested in patterns from the Renaissance and Islamic art. Using new techniques, such as block and screen print, to create new effects, he always used luxurious fabrics such as pure silk or velvet as the printing base.
Fortuny was invited to design a new lighting system, which created a range of special effects for the theatre. This was very influential on his development. During the research, he observed statues from Ancient Greece and became interested in the drapery, particularly the pleats. This inspired him to create pleated garments later on. He designed a scarf called ‘Knossos’ for pioneering dancer Isadora Duncan. Duncan believed that she needed a unique form of costume in order to showcase the new form of ballet. She danced in Fortuny’s designs and became one of the best champions of his work.
In addition to studying how the pleated fabric interacted with the body, Fortuny researched how to build his own pleating machine. He patented his invention in 1909 and he pleated fabric with this machine. Full knowledge of the method used to create the well known Fortuny pleats still remains one of the biggest mysteries in fashion.
In the machine diagram, we can see several hooks on the two ends, with ceramic tubes in the middle. He put hand pleated damp silk onto the machine, heating up the ceramic tubes to dry and fix the pleats.
He revived a Venetian Renaissance pleating technique used to pleat church vestments, to produce his ‘Delphos’ design. After the fabric was prepared with starch or with egg white glue, Fortuny used his thumbnail to form the pleats, and then twisted them by squeezing with his hands. He then placed the fabric onto the machine he invented to dry and fix the pleats. It took about 2 hours to pleat a ‘Delphos’ dress, but the removal of the glue in order to make the fabric supple and wearable once the pleats are in place, could take up to another 8 hours. In around 1925 he changed to the ‘2 cardboard moulds’ method discussed in my previous blog.
Women who wore the ‘Delphos’ dress were initially catagorised as ‘avant-garde’. The close-fitting form of the dress meant that underwear could not be worn let alone a corset. This challenged conservative society. Gradually the idea of liberating the body received acceptance, and people started to praise the natural beauty of the human form. Garments should be functional as well as aesthetic and the body should be liberated from the prison of fashion. People looked back to the Ancient Greek ‘chiton’ as an ideal. In these circumstances, Fortuny became popular.
Unlike other designers of the same period, such as Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel, Fortuny did not regard himself as a fashion designer who created new looks each season. He was in search of an ‘eternal’ absolute beauty.
2015年11月，我前往紐約展示innovative pleating技法時，有幸獲得Fashion Institute of Technology 的准許，在館藏人員Ariele Elia以及FIT碩士課程籌備教師Johnathan Kyle的協助下，瀏覽了FIT收藏的Fortuny Delphos 長洋裝．這次有四件，三件標註為1920年代，藕紫色澤特別註明為1928年．
In November 2015 I was invited to give a workshop, demonstrating my innovative pleating technique in New York City. I used the opportunity to visit the Museum of Fashion Institute of Technology, and was given an archival viewing of their Fortuny ‘Delphos’ collection. All four of the dresses were registered as from the 1920s; a violet garment was specifically attributed to 1928.
The ‘Delphos’ dresses are 100% silk. It therefore becomes problematic to maintain the pleats. Each garment is curled in a box for storage. This is how the garments were originally sold to customers as well. (For important exhibitions, the museum will open the garments and place them on mannequins.) When customers wanted to wash these dresses after wearing them, they were sent back to Fortuny’s studio for further processing and nobody really knows how they were cleaned. They were seldom sent to wash.
在Mrs Varney T Elliott捐贈的Delphos 腰帶上面有Fortuny的親筆簽名．
Fortuny’s signature can be seen on one of the painted belts (from the Mrs Varney T Elliot donation).
Some experts believe the glass beads added weight to balance the hem of the ‘Delphos’ dress, giving it a more stable shape. However, the beads are light and I’m not convinced that this was their use. At my archival viewing, my impression was that they were decorative.
Fortuny released several variations of the ‘Delphos’ dress, which included long sleeves, short sleeves, and sleeveless looks. The museum showed me a sleeveless apricot garment.
The neckline seam joins the lining and surface fabric. Fortuny purposely left a raw edge allowance rather than binding the seam in the usual couture way. My understanding is he did this because the ‘Delphos’ is close fitting to the body and he wanted to reveal a clean bodyline. If he had followed the conventional way to finish the seam, it would be too thick and would be seen from the outside.
No matter whether it is the neckline, hem or side seam, Fortuny used hand stitching rather than machining, in order to keep the flexibility and effect of the pleats.