2001

Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949), Evening dress, c.1928-1934. Silk velvet, silk and glass beads. Gift of Ann Schneider. Object Number: 91.218.1. Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology ©2010 Fashion Institute of Technology

Fortuny's interest in historical art and design is evident in this dress that references the early Italian Renaissance. While the silhouette is a vague interpretation of a 14th-century gown, the fabric's paired griffins and palmette motifs are specific to textiles produced in Lucca. Fortuny owned a large collection of historical fabrics that informed his work, but he avoided anachronism by employing the lean line and unrestricted silhouette embraced by modern fashion.

Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949), Coat, c 1927. Screen printed gold silk velvet and silk. Gift of Carole K. Newman. Object Number: 2001.67.1. Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology ©2010 Fashion Institute of Technology

This evening coat is printed with an ancient, Middle Eastern “Tree of Life” motif. The pattern became one of Fortuny’s perennial favorites and was printed on velvet, chiffon, and crepe over-garments. Fortuny often referenced ancient cultures in his work, creating garments that defied the changing trends of fashion.