Son of a Spanish painter, Mariano Fortuny created beautiful, exotic fabrics and designs for his couture house in Venice, which transcend all barriers of fashion and are in a class of their own.
Perhaps his most famous design the Delphos gown was based on the finely pleated chitons worn by women in ancient Greece. Fortuny’s Delphos gowns are not direct copies of the Greek’s but an evolution of the design. Fortuny used very fine silk satin pleated by hand which was unlike anything seen in fashion previously, which to this day has not been reproduced successfully by others. The seams in the gowns are so tightly pleated and fine that they are difficult to detect, giving the impression that the gown is a continuous piece of fabric. This also created an incredibly subtle garment which seems almost liquid moulding the wearer’s body in sheer drop dead elegance.