M a r i a n o F o r t u n y ( 1 8 7 1 – 1 9 4 9 )
The Delphos Dress is a peculiar garment made of very fine pleats on silk, which are weighed down by glass beads to hold its shape against the body. The pleats are all hand made as is the pigment used to dye the fabrics. Fortuny used ancient methods to dye his fabrics and invented a press with wood blocks that allowed him to print engraved patterns on various silks and velvets. His dresses are intact to this day and since him, no one has been able to replicate his methods of pleating to be as fine as they are in his garments.
What we see in the works of Fortuny and Poiret is a strong desire to enter a new age; their playfulness with proportions/patternmaking and the intoxicating fusion of ancient/exotic aesthetic gives the turn of the century a radical start.