Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Spain’s Most Famous Fashion Designers

Spain’s Most Famous Fashion Designers

I must admit, people in Spain dress with a certain elegance. They dress up to go out at night, they don’t “flaunt what they have”, they are dignified and slightly conservative. Modesty is still valued in this country. These observations are not to say that the Spaniards’ style of clothing is boring, definitely the opposite holds true.

There are many Spanish designers that have influenced the world with their wonderful renditions of a simpler way to live and wear clothing. I have listed a few of my favorites.

Mariano Fortuny was considered to be a Renaissance Man. Painter, printmaker, lighting designer, textile and fashion designer, he made the most exquisite fabrics. He was known for his pleated fabrics and especially for his Delphos gown, which became a sensation when it was introduced in 1907. It freed up women who wore corsets at the time, as it was an unconstructed, flowing design. He dipped each piece of silk or velvet fabric in dye, and then placed the fabric on porcelain rollers to develop the pleats. The dresses were twisted and then packed in small boxes to maintain their pleats. To wear a Fortuny was to wear a work of art.

Cristobal Balenciaga was born in 1895 in a Basque fishing village in Spain. His mother was a seamstress and he worked by her side, learning much of the basics. He was one of the few designers of his time who could cut, drape and design his own patterns. He was most known for his cocoon coat, the sack dress, the babydoll dress, the bubble skirt and the pillbox hat. His designs made women feel beautiful.

My absolute favorite Spanish designer is Manolo Blahnik. What girl doesn’t love shoes!!! He was born in Spain’s Canary Islands in 1942 and at a young age showed a flair for shoe design, dressing his pet dogs with shoes he designed. His hallmark is a light, feminine touch and he sketches each shoe design and creates the prototype by hand. In describing his shoes, Manolo Blahnik once said, “This is what I try to do, make women feel like princesses.” Wow, has he succeeded!

Madrid Adventure – Sorolla Museum

Madrid Adventure – Sorolla Museum

What a fabulous trip we had to Madrid and Barcelona! Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you the highlights.

I dragged my husband to many museums in both cities (more about that later), but the Sorolla Museum, a hidden gem, was my favorite.

Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923), was considered to be one of the major Spanish painters of his time. When he passed away, his widow, Clothilde, bequeathed his estate to the Spanish government and asked them to turn their home into a museum and to feature her husband’s work.

When you arrive, the gardens surrounding the museum are works of art. Surrounding the home are amazing greenery and flowers in the Alhambra style. When you enter the villa, one of the first things you experience is the love that Sorolla had for his wife and muse, Clothilde. Portraits abound of her and their children and there is a special temporary exhibit entitled, “Clothilde” running through October of 2012.

This painting is entitled, “Clothilde Seated on a Sofa.”

As the New York Times mentioned in 1909, during an exhibition in New York where Sorolla exhibited 356 paintings and sold 195 of these paintings before departing the United States, they named him “the Spanish painter of sunlight and color.” This characteristics of his painting style is so true. He continuously looked for new ways to paint people and objects and often painted them outdoors. When his gardens matured, he used them more and more often in his portraits of friends and family.
The following painting is entitled, “My Wife and Daughters in the Garden.”

Joaquin Sorolla ‘s work is represented in museums throughout Spain, Europe and America, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. If you have the opportunity, please see his amazing paintings.

This painting is entitled, “Walk on the Beach.”