Designer Mariano Fortuny Spanish

Not on view

Mariano Fortuny’s signature Delphos gown, a finely pleated silk sheath, drew inspiration from classical representations of the Greek chiton. Its design echoed the ancient garment’s body-conforming drape, economy of construction, and columnar silhouette. This example, paired with a coordinated silk gauze tunic, displays Fortuny’s trademark narrow pleats, which were gathered by hand and heat set. Murano glass beads strung on silk cord and stitched to the sides of the gown provide subtle decoration and added weight, ensuring a graceful line.

When introduced around 1907, the Delphos was designed to be worn as a tea gown for informal entertaining at home, offering a liberating alternative to the corseted fashions of the Belle Epoque. Fashionably adventurous women in artistic circles, including actress Eleonora Duse and dancer Isadora Duncan, were among the first to embrace these flowing, figure-revealing styles in public. By the 1920s, as social codes evolved and a more relaxed silhouette prevailed, Fortuny’s pleated dresses were widely fashionable as evening attire.

Ensemble, Mariano Fortuny (Spanish, Granada 1871–1949 Venice), (a) silk, glass, (b) silk, (c) silk, Italian

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