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1907-1920 Fortuny Peplos Gown

A similar gown to the one I have for you here is part of the permanent collection at The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in green. The description of that gown is so wonderful I thought I would share it with you here verbatim:

"Mariano Fortuny created a number of variations of his pleated silk gowns. In this model, he combined elements of the classical chiton and the peplos. A "tunic" is attached along its neckline to a long sleeveless underdress, suggesting the apoptygma of the classical peplos. This effect is further emphasized by the handkerchief points at either hip, which would have been seen on the sides of an authentic apoptygma. In the ancient Grecian peplos, the arm openings were positioned along the neckline edge rather than the sideseam edges. This resulted in a dipping hemline at either side of the garment when worn. Fortuny took this structural attribute and achieved the similar, purely decorative effect by cutting away at the tunic's front and back hem. Further, he interpreted the buttoned or pinned closings characteristic of a chiton's shoulder seams by connecting the topline seam of the tunic's sleeves with Venetian glass beads interlaced with silk "rat tail" cording. Fortuny was noted for his antiquarian intentions and scholarly treatment of classical dress, yet in the end, he invented rather than replicated a Hellenic style."

Mine is also a very fine Mariano Fortuny Peplos gown, circa 1907-1920, in an Apricot pleated silk with a corded silk drawstring to neck, short, kimono style sleeves and an attached tunic with pointed side panels all weighted with clear, white striped beads. This gown is in extremely good condition. The silk is strong and wearable with no splits as often seen on Fortuny's. The pleats are all wonderfully intact with just the slightest of softening of them in the arm area. There is also the slightest of fading in color to this same area but overall it is in superb condition and this is mentioned for accuracy only. Even the one from the MET seems to have the same softening of color through the arms so I believe it is part patina and part a natural occurrence from the pleats being moved more in this area. All the beads are present. The color, style of sleeve and type of beads used place this in the very early years of Fortuny's career. There is no label present (this was not uncommon in the earlier pieces) but I have had it verified by the senior curator at the Royal Ontario Museum as being a Fortuny.

It is 56" long from the mid neck at the back to the hem and does not appear to be altered or changed in any way from its original condition. Price $8,250

Shrimpton Couture. Toronto ON, M5V 2M9 - Phone: 905.699.1191 - E-Mail: cherie@shrimptoncouture.com - www.shrimptoncouture.com