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.