Fortuny’s Pleats - Beautiful Textures

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871–1949) was a Spanish designer, sculptor, artist and inventor of the early 20th century, who’s name is forever associated with the historic city of Venice where he worked most of his life in a Palazzo that served him as a home, studio, and showroom. One of his works for fashion design was an innovative technique that involved very fine pleating of silk into long dresses.


The Delphos dress, is considered one of the most symbolic creations of the Venetian Fortuny house. It was inspired by, and named after, a classic Greek statue, the Charioteer of Delphi. This finely pleated silk dress, created in about 1907 by Mariano Fortuny had a variety of versions. His wife, Henriette, whom he met in Paris in 1897 was an experienced dressmaker who helped Mariano construct many of his designs. Fortuny also created new methods of dying textiles, as well as ways of printing on fabrics. Mariano Fortuny and his wife Henriette, elaborated a great number of color variations for the Delphos dresses. To obtain a specific color for one dress, the fabric could be put successively ten times into different tanks of color dyes. Specific color names were attributed to the Delphos dresses.

The Delphos pleats were created due to evaporation - the silk was put wet and pleated on hot ceramic rolls. This would set the fine pleats of the silk fabric.

Featured Image - associated textures.

Our Artemis Collection pieces on a photo of the beautiful textured silks of the Delphos dresses (from a book: Mémoires de la Mode, Fortuny, by Delphine Desveaux, Editions Assouline


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