For those of us who tend to crush on pretty pastel things, meet Mariano Fortuny. The Spanish 20th-Century textile master ran a design house in Venice dedicated to lavish fabrics with a decidedly Marie Antoinette vibe. But Mariano Fortuny was more than an artist; he used technology and science to develop completely innovative approaches to fabric and pattern-making. After silk became too expensive and difficult to acquire, Fortuny created new methods to work with cotton. Using top-secret techniques (still confidential to this day!), he created the most beautiful textiles with delicate textures. Case in point: if you’re into pleats, then you’ll definitely fall head-over-heels for Fortuny’s signature super-fine pleats. Using these fabrics, Mariano Fortuny designed fashion as well, making the iconic Delphos gown and Knossos scarf. His prints were inspired by travels, apparent in the exotic motifs throughout his designs. We have interior designer Elsie McNeill to thank for bringing Fortuny’s fabrics into the American market, working closely alongside Mariano Fortuny himself and eventually taking over in 1949. She passed the company to Maged Riad in 1988, whose family has continued to keep the Fortuny name alive. Today, it's Fortuny's damask prints that most endure. With rich colors, crisp patterns, and soft lusters, you’ll find them everywhere from pillows to chair upholstery, even on lamp shades as the light makes the fabric glow. With their confection-like palette, Fortuny is perfect for pairing with everything from French to Shabby Chic!
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