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High Summer 2022: An ode to Mariano Fortuny

High Summer 2022: An ode to Mariano Fortuny

16 JUL 2022

“The young charioteer stands on his chariot, moments after his victory. He wears the distinctive charioteers' long chiton, belted up high and held tight by bands to prevent it from billowing and flapping in the wind. Below the belt, the chiton falls in straight pleats, which convey the shape of a Doric column.”

-Jean Pouilloux, Les Inscriptions de la Terrasse du Temple et de la région nord du sanctuaire, Nos 351-516

 

In about 1907, ten years after the discovery of the Charioteer, artist-designer Mariano Fortuny, a Spaniard in Venice, created an exquisite, pleated silk gown that has come to be surrounded by myth. Νamed after the classical bronze statue, the “Delphos” gown was a piece of pure art defined by fineness and distinctiveness. Its flowing, masterful micro-pleats inspired by the classical Greek chiton, resembled columns, and any woman who wore it looked effortless and statuesque.

'Charis' dress, design by Marios Schwab captured by Yiorgos Kaplanidis for Zeus+Dione
'Charis' dress, design by Marios Schwab captured by Yiorgos Kaplanidis for Zeus+Dione
'Elis' dress, design by Marios Schwab captured by Yiorgos Kaplanidis for Zeus+Dione
'Elis' dress, design by Marios Schwab captured by Yiorgos Kaplanidis for Zeus+Dione

The creation of the Delphos gown showcases the intricacy of this entirely-made-by-hand technique. Panels of silk were stitched together loosely with a thick basting thread. Reaching the edge, the needle was reversed about three-quarters of an inch above the last line of stitches, and a new row was made. This process then continued back and forth in a zigzag pattern through the entire length of the fabric. At the end of the panel, the thread was pulled in tightly, creating a narrow hank of cloth that was then passed through heated rollers.

Today, almost a century later, micro-pleating accentuates the High Summer ’22 ‘Triere’ collection by Zeus+Dione. Pleated twill tops, skirts, trousers, and dresses in black and white, attribute notable homages to Fortuny’s craftsmanship. Marios Schwab, creative director of Z+D, has chosen to enrich the classic and minimal design with detailing inspired by Greek pottery forms and geometric shapes. Alluring plunging wrap-effect necklines and delicate waistbands cinch in at the waist creating a flattering effect through the figure-skimming silhouettes. Each creation striving to achieve a look of timeless sophistication and a deliberate reference to our heritage.

 

Ref. The Met Museum, Fortuny Foundation