Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Caroline A. L. Pratt Fund, 1969
Not on view
Spanish-born artist and designer Mariano Fortuny was active in Italy, where he established a textile workshop and a commercial silk printing factory--a version of which still operates today. Best known for his beautiful textiles and unstructured garments, Fortuny continually referenced historical and non-Western sources, reviving and creating complex fabric treatments and dyeing techniques.
This Fortuny evening coat, with its signature silhouette, adapts the T-shape of the Coptic tunic, while the designer's famous palmette pattern borrows from Persian motifs. The rich color contrasts and deliberate use of gold stencilling are a testament to Fortuny's skill. The aqua velvet provides a soft contrast to the shimmering gold details, which in turn add dimension to a unseen element: a peach satin lining.