Thursday, June 23, 2011

That Fortuny Look

Palazzo Fortuny, the walls draped in his iconic prints.
Since my earlier posts on Fortuny and his artistic and aesthetic innovations, I have had a few readers ask where they could get Fortuny fabric on the cheap.  As your guide to all that is beautiful, I of course want to help, but I also must maintain a realistic approach to all that I say.  Primarily, the words 'Fortuny' and 'cheap' do not go together.  Ever.  Whether new or old, anything with Fortuny's name stenciled on it is going to set you back quite a bit.  However, being the resourceful person that I am, I do have a few sources for Fortuny inspired textiles.  I would have used the term 'knock-off', but that sounds so back alley, doesn't it?

Lipinski Silk from Fabricut.  Note the irregularities in
the printing and how they add an element of
authenticity and the organic process.
Retails for $104.50 per yard.
When scouring the market for Fortuny style fabric, begin by looking for printed Damask, on a lavish looking textile.  The patterns can be purely plant forms, or they may incorporate animals or frettework of some sort.  If money were no object, you could find a printed velvet or silk, but you can also do fairly well with a fine weave cotton, a faux silk rendered in Polyester, a low pile velvet, or even a sheer if you are interesting in doing window treatments.  Make sure the printed patterns look aged or have slight intentional irregularities.  Also look for gold or jewel tone colors, Fortuny rarely did pastels.

The fabrics I'm showing are from vendors that are readily available in any city with a Design Center.  Yes, these are to the trade, but any Designer (me, for instance.  wink wink, nudge nudge) would be glad to assist you in procuring said textiles.  With an understanding of what you need, you may also be able to source textiles in your cities Garment District.  Speaking for Los Angeles only, I'm sure Michael Levine or Mood would have something in a Fortuny look.

- Ian

Henley Damask, from G.P. & J. Baker.  Printed on golden
cotton velvet, the Terracotta dyes have taken inconsistently,
giving this textile a charm and quality similar to the
originals it imitates.  Retails for $240.00 per yard.

One of my favorite, Gilded Paisley from Robert Allen / Beacon Hill.
Printed on gold cotton velvet, red dyes are over laid with metallic
gold ink.  So Fortuny.  My favorite part of this is when it ages with use
the gold ink will crackle and add another layer of texture.  Stunning.
Retails for $306.00 per yard.
Gilded Paisley detail. 

Ariadne by Fabricut in Woodland.  Dark maroon printed over olive green taffeta.
The off colors remind me of the originals.  This is a polyester taffeta
so it's perfect for windows (the sun can damage silk) and also
areas of high use, like chair seats.  Retails for $119.50 per yard.

Ariadne in Tidepool.  Still lovely.

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