Thursday, March 18, 2010

textile alchemy

dazzling.what an exhibit we have been graced with.
the caixa de catalunya savings bank  foundation along with the fondazione mariano frotuny in venice have designed a mesmerizing exhibit on mariano fortuny ( ny pronounced like one with a stuffed nose pronouncing an n) textile magician, fashion designer, master photographer, painter  and aesthete.
 the  exhibit comes with the bonus that it is housed  at gaudi's la pedrera's exhibition hall. just the walk up the magnificent stairs was a starter for delights to come.

we are all familiar with fortuny's sumptuous delphos dress, however, his textile production which included printing , dyeing, fashion  and lace design is not as popular. i am still under the spell of his velvets, and their jewel tone colors, tiziano and  venice in textiles. something i found fascinating was the velvet brocades with their metallic wefts woven in  what i perceived as a crepe structure.
other examples included velvets printed with metallic paints and silks printed with charcoal dust! 

 what a glorious nut he was !
drawing influences from eastern cultures and experimenting with materials, dyes and  processes he designed fashion  and furnishing fabrics from his atelier in venice from 1906 onwards.
 during this time he also created innovative printing procedures and  designed  the machines to aid in the process, accumulating around two dozen machine  patents. among these the pleating machine to create his pleated fabrics, that would be turned into the delphos dresses and tunics.
as i looked at   photographs of some of the pleated fabrics produced in his venetian atelier and then closely examined  the pleated dresses i  could establish a link between arashi shibori and his fabrics. a   link that was confirmed as i walked into another of the rooms to find katzome stencils from his collection. an exciting find indeed.

fortuny's  fashion designs were uniquely elegant  and liberating at a time when corsets were de rigeur. no wonder proust dresess the duchesse de germantes in a fortuny gown.
 also displayed there were simple silk tunics  reminiscent of morrocan djellabas  stencilled with richly decorative motifs and  gorgeous velvet capes in what i believe was devore printed.

i only had eyes and mind for  the textiles, but his photographs merit a second visit to the exhibit.and perhaps a third one to look at the engravings and paintings.then i'll see if i luck out on the exhibit's catalog, which was sold out yesterday.
somehow it seems that i won't be able to stop raving about this exhibit.

neki desu

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  1. Neki, thank you for posting about the Fortuny exhibition. I was in Venice last weekend and didn't make it to the museum. Now I find it was closed for renovation and probably a lot of items are in Barcelona. I feel much better!


  2. Anonymous9:49 AM

    wow- what a fantastic opportunity. thanks for sharing your visit- wish i were there!


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