‘Delphos’ dress , Mariano Fortuny

  • Mariano Fortuny

  • Grey label, trademark printed in black: MADE IN ITALY FABRIQUÉ EN ITALIE. FORTUNY DÉPOSÉ
  • Gift of Madame Faure-Beaulieu
  • Around 1919 - 1920
  • Grey silk taffeta, gold-printed taffeta, yellow and red beads
  • GAL1969.39.1 A
  • Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

A Spanish artist living in Venice, Mariano Fortuny began designing printed fabrics in 1906. In work strongly influenced by antiquity, he emphasised the fluidity of garments with no waistline, creating sober, timeless, vertical pieces perfectly adapted to revealing the forms of the body. Registered in Fortuny's name in 1909, his emblematic ‘Delphos’ dress—named after the Charioteer of Delphi—took its inspiration from the chiton, the long woollen Greek tunic, and reflects the craze for Greece whose interpreter at the time was Isadora Duncan. This one-size-fits-all dress, made of finely pleated silk and open to all sorts of subtle variants of neckline and sleeves, was an ongoing success for forty years. Its admirers among the modernist elite included Comtesse Greffulhe and her daughter Elaine, the Marchesa Luisa Casati, Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse and, of course, Isadora Duncan.  

Notice's author : Sophie Grossiord