Design Destination: Fortuny at Dessin FournirAuthor:Abigail Stone
Fortuny, the venerable Venetian textile company, renowned for their shimmering cottons, sensual velvets and diaphanous silks, has opened their Los Angeles showroom at Dessin Fournir, located on La Cienega in the heart of Los Angeles’s design quarter. It’s an ideal alliance, partnering them with a discriminating shop whose roster of brands, including Therien, Kerry Joyce, Gerard and Rose Cumming as well as their own designs, mirrors the Italian company’s reputation for inimitable quality, unparalleled craftsmanship and astounding luxury.
The company was founded over a century ago by Mariano Fortuny. Born into a family of Spanish artsts, Fortuny had worked in sculpture, photography, set design and stage lighting before his interest in dyes and chemistry led him to costume design and, eventually, to creating his own fabrics. Settling in Venice, he opened the company in 1906, eventually moving the factory from his home to the nearby island of Giudecca as demand for his products grew.
What sets Fortuny fabrics apart, even more than their beautiful and intricate designs, which hint at Renaissance, Moorish, Islamic and African influences, is the company’s methods for printing and dying. For, more than just a textile manufacturer, Fortuny was an inventor. As a testament to his ingenious and creative spirit, his formulas and techniques, closely guarded company secrets, are still in use today. His legendary Delphos gown, designed in connection with his wife and inspired by Grecian chitons, featured an elaborate pleating process that allowed the dress to be both form-fitting and comfortable. A revelation and a scandal in the days when corsets were the norm, the dresses look just as modern and fresh as the day they were created. Supple and mesmerizing, Fortuny fabrics slip effortlessly into traditional and modern settings, elevating even the simplest designs.