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Outrageous Fortuny

Annie is something of a fabric guru—just check out this post of her having a blast with shipment of vintage fabrics—especially when it’s luxurious and in an immediately recognizable style. Take the inimitable Fortuny, created more than a century ago by Spaniard Mariano Fortuny. When one of our favorite local museums, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, recently held a lecture on the topic by Fortuny Interiors author Brian Coleman, we couldn’t wait to dig a little deeper.

It turns out that Fortuny had a background in theatrical design, as well as a wordly eye for ancient beauty—think Renaissance, Byzantine, Celtic, Greek, and Persian. He moved to Venice around the start of the twentieth century, and quickly went to work creating some of the most luxurious, elegant, and beautiful printed cottons in the world. His original textile techniques and hand-mixed dyes—which vary from lot to lot, making each bolt unique—maximize the way light bounces off the fabrics, giving them an unmistakable yet subtle sheen, a timeless appeal, and a smooth, elegant drape. This is why high-end designers love them for everything from pillows and duvet covers to lampshades, drapes, table linens, and even small accessories like journal covers.

Fortuny fabrics are still manufactured, with Fortuny’s original techniques, in the Venice factory he founded all those years ago. Take a peek at some of these designs, and tell us which one is your favorite in the comments.

Hadley Court

Sandra Espinet blog

Venice Showroom

JHedborg

Jeffers Design Group

Jeffers Design Group

Cipriani Hotel, Venice

Fortuny chair NYC

Fortuny sofa

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7 comments

Beth Barrington April 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Thank you for such a wonderful and interesting post!

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Fresh American April 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy looking at all this eye candy as much as we do.

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Fresh American April 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

Thanks for commenting, Beth! We love hearing from our readers.

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Victoria Athens April 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I have two Fortuny sconces, which I love, and my son gave me Brian Coleman’s Fortuny book for Christmas. The “Hadley Court” pillows in the second image make me swoon.
Best…Victoria

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Fresh American April 19, 2013 at 11:39 am

Ooh…we’re a bit envious! We’re guessing those Fortuny sconces look pretty amazing. And your son has great taste in gifts!

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Mary April 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I’d like to open up any of the rolls of fabric in photo #3 and watch the way the light bounces off each one of them. Especially drawn to the depth of the bronze roll (to the right of the blue one).

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Fresh American April 19, 2013 at 11:39 am

We second that motion, Mary!

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