The Unfolding of Mariano Fortuny

Art Narratives by Cynthia Korzekwa

What is a pleat other than a fold.  And what is a fold other than the combination of order and flexibility.

Pleats have been around for a long time. They were around in ancient Egypt and continued to be used throughout history. Just think of Mary Stuart’s famous pleated collar, the Scottish kilt, and the Greek fustanella .

Textiles of the past were coarse and thus more difficult to fold.  Now synthetic fabrics make pleating much easier for contemporary fashion designers.  One such designer is Issey Miyake who loves pleats so much he’s even named a perfume  in their honor.

Miyake Like Pleats

But the most successful pleated dress of all times is that of Mariano Fortuny, the “Delphos” dress.

The son of a well-known Spanish artist, Fortuny was born in Granada in 1871. His family was wealthy enough to permit him to study and travel. At the age of 18, he moved permanently…

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