In the collection of the Contemporary clothing, with around 4000 garments , highlights the dress “Delphos” designer Mariano Fortuny. This collection features Haute Couture works by the great Cristóbal Balenciaga and designs by Pedro Rodríguez, Manuel Pertegaz and Elio Berhanyer, among other great names, which show the excellent level of Spanish designers .
In the twentieth century, Mariano Fortuny stands out with his liberator “Delphos”. From the moment when Haute Couture reached its maximum splendor, we have works by maestro Balenciaga, with dresses for different times of the day and the designs of Pedro Rodriguez, Lino, Rosina, Natalio, Pertegaz and Elio Berhanyer, among others, show the high level of Spanish designers. Of the active creators, we have works that have been setting trends, such as the unique metallic dress of Paco Rabanne, and the representation of a large number of current Spanish designers.
Through born in Granada, Fortuny spent most of his life in Venice. At an early age he made his name as a painter, but he was intersted in the industrial arts and technological innovations. In a bid to erase the distinction between fine arts and decorative arts, he launched himself into the study of applied art with the aim of transforming everyday items into objets d’art.
He shared this ideal with the leading industrial designers of the day, such as William Morris, who sought to revive and the production process, investigating new techniques and materials.
A muti-faceted artist. Fortuny practiced painting, engraving, and photography, nad worked in stage design and lighting, interior decoration, and fashion design. He won twenty patents for his inventions.
The avant-garde and fashion
THe First World War ended a way of dressing. European women took jobs and to shed te busties and artificial shapes that characterised their dress in the previous century, and began to wear more practical tailored clothion.
The period between the wars witnessed the eruption of the avant-garde in art – Orphism, Cubism, and Surrealism – which would have a major impact on styles of dress.
In the 1920s women wore dresses à la garçonne, with straght lines and no waist. Typical 1920’s women wore short, leg-revealing dresses, whose straight lines shaped the boyish silhouette then in favour.
The worldwide economic depression that began with the crash of the U.S. stock market in 1929 ended this fashion, and ushered in a more conservative period, in which women wore more shapely dress with lower hemlines.
For the first time in history, women began to dominate the world of haute couture, and such names as Madeleine Vionnet, Gabrielle Chanel, Heane Larivin, Alix Gres and Elsa Schiaparell were known the world over.
Balenciaga was successful during his early career as a designer in Spain. Balenciaga was a renowned fashion designer Spanish, considered one of the most important creators of the haute couture, who performed his work mainly in the city of Paris for more than three decades. Previously he had a tailor training and several own brands in Spain. twoContemporary by Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, he is the most important Spanish couture designer in history.
Balenciaga’s structural designs, which had never before been seen in the fashion world. He was a master of tailoring, and he was able to translate his illustrations from paper to real life. His advanced tailoring skills gave him an advantage over designers all over the world, making him a major target for customers. “He reshaped women’s silhouette in the 1950s, so that clothes we think as typical of that decade are mostly dilutions of his work” (Irvine, 2013). Compared to some work like the New Look from Christian Dior, which featured full skirts and a tiny waist, Balenciaga changed these to look like the Yoki coat, which was a one-seam coat, or to voluminous looks. However, this look made customers travel from all over the world for his outfits.
In the post-war years that the full scale of the inventiveness of his highly original designs became evident. In 1951, he totally transformed the silhouette, broadening the shoulders and removing the waist. In 1955, he designed the tunic dress, which later developed into the chemise dress of 1957. In 1959, his work culminated in the Empire line, with high-waisted dresses and coats cut like kimonos.
During the 1950s designers like Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, and Coco Chanel, emerged, creating pieces very representative to their fashion houses and to their own styles. An important protagonist for this period was Cristobal Balenciaga. This Spanish fashion designer was known as “The King of Fashion” and was one of the great masterminds of the period. Balenciaga was born and raised in Spain, where he worked for the Spanish royalty, but because of the Spanish Civil War he moved to Paris where he became this “King of Fashion”.
Haute Couture re-emerged in the 1940s favouring a more classical silhouette. The creations of Balenciaga and Dior led the way.
Spanish Haute Couture
By the mid-20th century, Spain had over one hundred fashion houses working for the bourgeoisie in the country’s main cities. Sante Eulalia, a company with origins dating back to 1843. was one of the pioneers in organising the first fashion shows in Barcelona in the decade of 1920. Pedro Rodrguez began his career around the same time and went so far as to preside the Cooperativa de Alta Costura(Haute Couture Cooperative). which from 1940 on brought togerher the most outstanding couturiers in the country. Classics such as asuncion bastida or natatio made way for more innovative creators such as Marbel Jr. or Herrera y Ollero, who endeavoured to bring the latest foreign trends to their work.
The 1950s and ’60s are the golden age of Spanish Haute Couture. Pedro Rodríguez is one of its leading representatives.
The years of the Movida:
During the years of the Movida or Spanish countercultural movement, designers driven by a search for new horizons appered the length and breadth of the counery. Morena and Cabalero in Galicia. Arrfui nad Bergada in the Basque Country Fortes and Miro in Cataioinia. Agatha and Alvarado in Madrid, Victolo&Lucctiro in Andaiusia.
Thanks to the Minstry for Industry’s Fashion and Design Promotion Plan, instgated by Migel Argel Fello, structums were gradually conscidered and desgners and the industy made an effort to join forces. Fashion expanded artiest were creation clothes, designers experimerting and active art on the Street, the new fashion cillentent felt free to interpret styles to their taste.
Fashion became more accessible at the end of the 20th century: more designers developed their own personal look and prêt-à-porter became well established.
Catwalk Fashion, street Fashion
The proliferation of designers from the decade of 1970 led to the apperarance of different platforms aiming to project their work towards an ever-more mass public. This is how Moda del Mediterraneo, Imagen Moda, The Salon del Pret-a-Porter de Barcelona, etc. came into being, Experiences, all of them,that ended up consolidating in the mid-80’s on the catwalks on Cibeles, in madrid, and Gaudi, in Barcelona(now known as the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid and 080 Barcelona Fashion).
The Professionalization of the sector has occurred in multiple direction. Spain as a source of models, for instance, has, become one of the standards of our fashion on the internation scene.
Journalists and sociologists, companies and museums are all intersted in fashion and increashinly raise awareness of it, while the number of fashion design, communication and marketing schiils is also growing. And, of course, clothes manufacturing: inditex and Mango head up the list, but a good number of bridal fashion or accessories firms are also present all over the world, proving the Spain, apart from Balenciga, has a lot to say about fashion.
Museo del Traje, Madrid
The Museo del Traje is a museum located in Madrid, Spain, with collections devoted to fashion and costumes. The museum has over 160,000 pieces and documents. The current building was completed in 1973. Collections date from the Middle Ages up to clothes by Spain’s contemporary fashion designers. It was declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 1962.
The Madrid Costume Museum is a Spanish museum, under the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, located in the University City of Madrid. Its basic objective is to promote the knowledge of the historical evolution of clothing and testimonies of the ethnological heritage representative of the cultures of the peoples of Spain.
It is a National Museum of Spain attached to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, is exclusively managed by the General Directorate of Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage.
The Museo del Traje is a National Museum which depends on the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Its basic aim is to promote an understanding of the historical development of costume. Its collections draw a path throw four centuries of the history of fashion, from the 17th century to nowadays.