Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fortuny at Bergdorf Goodman

Fortuny tableware luxuriously displayed at Bergdorf Goodman
I recently got to see the beautiful new Fortuny collection that Bergdorf Goodman is carrying in its home department on the seventh floor. Mariano Fortuny – the name is kind of magical. The artist who lived and worked in Venice around the turn of the last century was a stage and lighting designer, photographer, and painter. He is best known though for designing silk pleated dresses, called the Delphos gown, which could be rolled up into a ball and looked like something women wore in ancient Greece. Lauren Hutton told me once that she collects Fortuny gowns, and when I visited Curator-in-Charge Harold Koda in the archives at the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute, he opened a sleek white drawer to reveal balled up Fortuny gowns in vivid colors like knotted jewels. Fortuny also is remembered for his timeless handblocked velvet and silk prints that epitomize Venice whose sea explorers linked the exotic East with Western Europe.
Mariano Fortuny:

Fortuny was born in Spain in 1871 and his family moved to Venice in 1889. He later purchased the Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfie, a palace built in the fifteen century, which became his home and his atelier. Today it is the Fortuny Museum which is open to visitors. TD and I have been to Venice once, and I loved it so much – city as a work of art. I hope to return some day and to visit the Fortuny Museum:

Fortuny died in 1949 but the Fortuny company carries on in Venice, selling fabrics, furniture, glass and pillows. Now it has teamed up with L'OBJET, which has produced a collection of fine tableware, home accessories and gifts based on Fortuny designs; prices are from $75 - $1,200. For the seventh floor display at Bergdorf Goodman, opulent tables are set and walls are lined with Fortuny fabric. You know that I love things that go back in time, and this collection really hits the spot.
There are golden lanterns

and striking plates for the table to be layered and mixed.
This three tier server in contrasting prints is striking.

Boxes are made of real Fortuny fabrics.

Romantic, no?

While working on this collection, Nicholas Manville, Vice President of Decorative Home at Bergdorf Goodman, went to see the Fortuny archives in Venice. "It was a magical day," said Nicholas. "Most times a gate is unlocked for you in Venice, an incredible experience follows. I began to appreciate that Fortuny designs could only ever be created in Venice. It is clear how the designs are informed by the light, water, color, architecture, and secretive drama of the city." This nook on Bergdorf's seventh floor displays Fortuny fabric curtains, furniture, accessories and hanging lamps. I felt like I was in a Henry James novel.

The collection is available through the holidays and makes wonderful gifts. It inspired me – I went home and listened to Vivaldi and lit some candles as if I was in Fortuny's Venice.


Iris said...

Great post - thank you for the kind words. If you ever return to Venice, make sure to stop by the Fortuny showroom, or you can always say hello at our New York showroom as well!


Bart Boehlert said...

Hi Iris,
I would love to visit you in Venice!

Kellie Collis said...

What a lovely table setup! Love the glamour that gold brings to it! Enjoy the gorgeous start of the week, Kellie xx

Jennifer Gibbs Kambourian said...

Dear Bart,
I discovered your blog last year and I just wanted to tell you how much I thoroughly enjoy it! Your photos and descriptions are beautiful, and beautifully written--I really feel like I'm "there," due to your talent for writing. We hear so much of the negative in our day-to-day lives through the media, that it's a pleasure and a lovely break in my day to visit "Bart's world" for a few minutes. Thank you for taking the time to create this blog, and for recognizing the need we all have to stop and appreciate this beautiful world we have around us.
Sincerely, Jennifer Kambourian
Oakton, Virginia

Bart Boehlert said...

Hi Kellie and Jennifer, thanks for your comments. Jennifer, thanks so much for your compliments on the blog. Really appreciate it and glad you are enjoying my personal view!