Monday, February 2, 2009

Satin Worship

Ok, we admit it. We are Satin worshipers. Now that we have confessed, it must be stated that Satin is a cruel and demanding master indeed. Although having a reputation as lovely and sensual fabric, he is in fact quite evil and possesses a mind of his own. Whether in a delicious shade of ethereal oyster shell or a deadly midnight blue this cloth simply lives to break your heart. When dealing with him one would benefit from skills as a lion tamer as well as a seamstress…

We have spent years getting to know the various personalities of fabrics. From the haughty to the humble, from the couture to the common we do not think that there is a variety that we have not crossed paths with. Perhaps we are bound for an eternity spent chanting the virtues of velvet or confined to a damask draped damnation but we would have it no other way.

There has been no greater High Priest / Master of Fabric than Mariano Fortuny (1871 – 1949). He is one of a handful of artists and designers that have had a profound influence on our own design work. He is perhaps best known for his Delphos gown (a pleated concoction of unearthly beauty…), a garment that is to this day still highly coveted by collectors of all things lovely and sublime.

As master dyer, Fortuny achieved a subtly and mystery to his colors that we are still struggling to understand. How does one capture the essence of an entire orchard in a single shade of russet, or the spectrum of a sunset in a singular tone of umber? We will truly never know…



In our opinion, Fortuny’s exquisite printed velvets stand alone as his most accomplished creation. Truly what dreams are made of, these velvets are a Renaissance painting come to life. The gowns, coats and capes are worthy of enchanted queen or wicked sorceress straight from the pages of history.

Fortuny’s Venetian palazzo (now a museum) is a mouth watering, mind numbing and swoon inducing experience. The palazzo showcased his personal collection of painting, statues and decorative objects as well as becoming a backdrop for his textile designs. Words just cannot do justice to such grandeur…



Two Shades of the Midnight Fire
In the Night Sky
You waiting Child walk with me
Walk by Side of Fall
The Essence to open those Gates
And still we must walk the Path of Sorrow


(“Walk the Path of Sorrow” by Satyricon)

2 comments:

Petra Voegtle said...

Nice post - I must admit I love beautiful fabrics as well.
The very first gown reminds me of those beautiful night moths - In south east Asia you can find some which are nearly the size of a hand. Extremly beautiful and very mysterious...

lisa said...

I love what Mary McFadden has done with Fortuny fabric. I love the Fortuny fold. I love McFadden's Mongolian Wedding Dress - http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com/images/sjcf_01_img0263.jpg

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