Fortuny at the Hermitage Museum

On December 6, the prestigious Hermitage museum opened its door to the Mariano Fortuny – “The Magician of Venice” exhibition. Live report from Fortuny’s creative director Mickey Riad from St. Petersburg.


After hurdling the governmental obstacles of passports and visas (my visa coming in just one day before my trip), I finally made the journey to St. Petersburg, Russia for the install and opening of the Mariano Fortuny exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum. Starting from two historic pieces acquired from Fortuny’s family by the Hermitage in the late 1800’s, Tatiana Lekhovich and her team created an exhibition of our founder’s work. From centuries old textiles to Coptic and Egyptian heritage that gave Fortuny some of his inspiration, Fortuny’s clothing, textiles, paintings and pattern designs are showcased in an incomparable setting, fitting in that St. Petersburg was built as a “Venice of the north”.


A long (and cold, wet, snowy) first day culminated with a lecture to a full house of textile and fashion lovers, students and professionals talking about the history of our company. It was a pleasant surprise seeing the interest and answering the many questions that followed my talk, a few of which were requests for internships with Fortuny. Capping off the evening was a lovely dinner in the glow of the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral with our Moscow agent Natalia Vasileva and Daria Talalaeva, where the only thing colder than the weather outside was the vodka. After dinner, Daria treated me to a short tour (in her Camaro!) seeing some of the islands that make up this unique and beautiful city. Never thought I’d be getting a tour of any part of Russia in a Camaro, but goes to show you, life will always surprise you, especially if you let it.


Read more about the exhibition from the State Hermitage Museum.