I gathered many ideas for works with paper and books, printmaking, sewing, weaving and collage...
I hope it sparks lots of ideas for you too...
Sorolla and Fashion
the works of Valencian painter - Joaquin Sorolla - (1863 - 1923)
alongside an exquisite collection of costumes from the era 1890 to 1920.
Louis Vuitton - Time Capsule Exhibition
1854 to the present - an elegant selection of LV designs anticipating the needs and
desires of a changing world over 160 years (the world of the very rich, that is).
Joaquin Sorolla in his studio and his painting of his wife Clotilde.
SILK in all its many manifestations: taffeta, muslin, satin, lace, crepe, chiffon, even silk cheesecloth. Combined with glass and metal beads and sequins.
An incredibly complex design.
The fine lace medallions inserted into the thin silk skirt hardly showed a stitch!
Cotton and lace - white on white - texture reigns.
This was my favourite Sorolla painting - Under the Awning, Zarautz - oil on canvas - 1910.
I love the expression of the breeze in the hat veils, all the reflected light under the awning and the blazing sunshine on the sand behind. I wonder what they're so keenly observing?
A two-piece garden party dress in cotton and lace with matching parasol
Another oil painting titled Under the Awning, Zarautz Beach.
This beach is on the north coast of Spain, not far from Biarritz in France.
The tonal gestures that make up the white clothing are delicious.
A summer garden party dress in linen and cotton from 1908 - 1910 with parasol.
The painting is Snapshot, Biarritz - painted in 1906
Gentleman's linen taffeta jacket and trousers 1920 - 1924.
Straw boater with grosgrain ribbon (of course) 1920 - 1930
Antonio Garcia on the Beach - oil on canvas - 1909
This is one of my favourite men's ensembles - a linen suit. Runs a close second to doeskin breeches, thigh high boots and frock coat - or am I giving too much away?
Raquel Meller - a Spanish singer and international star in the 1920s and 1930s.
Painted here by Sorolla in 1918
Very excited to have the opportunity to study a couple of
Mariano Fortuny's (y Madrazo) creations - based on the ancient Greek "Delphos" design.
Mariano is the son of Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838-74) whose exhibition I visited,
at the Prado, in Janauary - my blog post HERE
He lived and worked in Venice and his villa is now a museum.
It houses his lighting designs and inventions for theatre and home.
In particular, his pleated silk and stamped velvet garments - he invented the silk pleating method and patented it - and developed a method of block printing velvet with metallic pigments. His silks were all naturally dyed by hand in beautiful colours.
This top, below, in fine silk taffeta with metal thread cord and Murano glass beads
shows the subtlety, beauty and fine craftsmanship of his work.
And the highlight of the exhibition - for me - was this Fortuny Delphos gown.
Pleated silk taffeta combined with Murano glass beads.
What a masterpiece!
Unfortunately you'll have to imagine the exact colour - a subtle turquoise green.
At the entrance - one of the seamstresses from the House of Louis Vuitton -
demonstrates leather hand-stitching techniques.
Three screens show all angles as she works - trimming thread, gluing thread ends, and explaining the advantages of hand stitching for longevity and strength.
Explanations delivered in French and translated to Spanish -
fortunately pictures tell a thousand words.
I was fascinated by the tools, of course,
and the beautiful case that was designed to house them all.
I was also imagining a Louis Vuitton designed "artist's field sketching bag"...
The wardrobe trunk - what a perfectly designed piece of luggage that was.
And LV's latest design; I bet this never sees a luggage carousel -
only handled by your leer jet personnel from the hands of your chauffeur.
These are beautiful - linings in watered silk and suede - hand blown glass containers
with silver lids - for your toiletries, cosmetics, perfumes and that perfect cup of tea.
Radical changes in design here -
Hard to beat the simple elegance of this backpack and umbrella.
The only thing missing from the show was the smell of leather.