A Year in Fashion at Fortuny


February – this time of the year when fashion becomes the talk of the town, we saunter down memory lane through an eventful year in fashion at Fortuny before catching up with the exciting projects about to take place this year.


The then-duo creative directors of Valentino took to Fortuny for inspiration for their Spring Summer 2016 haute couture collection. See the collection here.

Valentino SS 2016. Paris, January 2016.

Manus x Machina

Five delphos gowns opened the Pleat section of the Manus x Machine exhibition – the seventh most visited show in the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Meticulous pleats made with a secret technique, the gowns catch and reflect light in a theatrical way while giving dimension to silk like never done before. After all, manipulating the eyes with light and color is Fortuny’s strong suit – so cleverly done that he is often referred to as the “Magician of Venice.”      

The Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 exhibition, Manus x Machina. May 5 – Sep 5, 2016.

Downton Abbey

One watches Downton Abbey not only for the story which, we admit, is addicting, but also for the rich historic references that the show encapsulates – fashion history in particular. With six seasons spanning from the sinking of the Titanic to the interwar period in Britain, the costume team lead by the talented Anna Robbins gave us visually striking “lectures” on British and European fashion at the turn of the century. In the series finale of the show, Anna dressed Lady Mary and Lady Rose in three original Fortuny vintage garments. Beyond the fitting aesthetic and historical aspects (the Fortuny dresses and gowns dated to the 1920s), the choice of dresses represents a change in the air. Indeed, Mariano Fortuny was among the early 20th century artists and designers who liberated the women from the corseted hour-glass figures while prioritizing the materials and the craftsmanship over ornate embellishment, influencing and inspiring countless other artists, designers and people still to this day.

The State Hermitage Museum

It started with the Hermitage museum’s purchase of the Fortuny vase in 1885 from Mariano Fortuny’s mother shortly after she moved the family to Paris. In December 2016, the Hermitage opened its door to an exhibition on the legacy of Fortuny. Combining paintings, textiles, objects, and words – the exhibition traces back the links and gives context to Fortuny’s creations. We see motifs that appeared at some point in Fortuny’s life – in a painting the family owned or in the fabrics of a tiny city in Morocco that he visited – taking shape again in his sketch then in his textiles. We also see the many different influences, from history to culture to theater to art that nourished the mind of this great man. Find out more about the exhibition here.

St Petersburg, Russia. Dec 7 2016 – March 13, 2017

Top image: Mood board from Valentino’s SS2016 Collection taking inspiration from Mariano Fortuny.