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Mariano Fortuny: His Life and Work, by...

Mariano Fortuny: His Life and Work, by Guillermo de Osma (Rizzoli International: $25 paper).

Though fashion great Mariano Fortuny died more than a quarter of a century ago, and his influence is seen today chiefly in the interpretive designs of Mary McFadden, this beautifully illustrated book detailing Fortuny’s innovations in textiles and dress styles should delight anyone with interest in color, fabric and design. As we learn from De Osma’s painstaking text, Fortuny was known as “the magician of Venice” by his peers, who included Poiret, Proust and Diaghilev, to mention a few.

The man’s creative abilities extended not only to the fashion arts but also to photography, painting, set design and more. Readers of this book are treated to not only Fortuny gowns from the collections of such fashion pacesetters as Tina Chow and Gloria Vanderbilt, but also to a wide array of Fortuny artifacts ranging from a lamp shade to a scale model for an ideal amphitheater.


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