Walk the Line: Printing and Fashion

Last Week's Thursday Late at Manchester Art Gallery allowed us to take a closer look at a particular item in the collection. The extensive costume collection from Platt Hall has started to venture out of the wardrobe and into the art Gallery on Mosley street. Displayed with a selection of Pre- Raphaelite paintings, the flowing fabric draping over the heavenly bodies of the women is seen in real life in the gown by Mariano Fortuny.

I've always loved this painting by Charles-August Mengin. It depicts the greek poet Sappho who lived around 600BC, from the story that she threw herself into the sea for an unrequited love. Apparently it appealed to the Parisian men attending the salon exhibition at the time, but I think the expression in her face is what makes it. SImilar to nudity in fashion photography today like a Dazed & Confused shoot of Kate Moss with her top off.

I've always loved this painting by Charles-August Mengin. It depicts the greek poet Sappho who lived around 600BC, from the story that she threw herself into the sea for an unrequited love. Apparently it appealed to the Parisian men attending the salon exhibition at the time, but I think the expression in her face is what makes it. SImilar to nudity in fashion photography today like a Dazed & Confused shoot of Kate Moss with her top off.

Delphos Dress 1908 - 1912  Mariano Fortuny

Delphos Dress 1908 - 1912 

Mariano Fortuny

Self portrait by Fortuny

Self portrait by Fortuny

Described as a Renaissence man, Fortuny was the son of accomplished painters and repertoir included architecture, interiors & stage design, fashion, painting, photography, lighting and textiles design. The Delphos dress we discussd in the gallery late was inspired by ancient Greek art and his method of the beautiful intricate pleating was his own secret. Art nouveau beading would trim the dress, for decoration and also to weight the fabric. The construction is what makes this dress so timeless, with detail such as a laced sleeve making it make contemporary so that his designs are still worn on the red carpet today. It really is worth investigating more of his work, the more I find out the more amazing it is and not just from a fashion/design history perspective - it is all still very desirable. Sighhhhhh

Dress details

Dress details

Fortuny label

Fortuny label

The group discussion was organised by Connie Witham. Hopefully there will be some more fashion related chats like this as there are plenty of amazing garments in Platt Hall in Rusholme that are worth appreciating in depth with details that are easy to miss on a quick look round.

Careful-it's sharp! Removing the shiny surface to get through to the fuzzy papery layer meant that the ink would stick here and transfer onto the paper.

Careful-it's sharp! Removing the shiny surface to get through to the fuzzy papery layer meant that the ink would stick here and transfer onto the paper.

After discussing the dress (and quite a few other things) with the group we headed to another part of the gallery where artist Adam Quinn was holding a printing workshop. I didn't think I would have time to make one as I was heading to meet friends but I'm a big fan of printing and hadn't used this technique before so I made a quick drawing in the foil card using an H.B pencil, scalpel and an unknown attachment on my Swiss Army knife. The theme was portraits so I used an image of one of my pyrite Hewn rings.

thick squidgy ink-similar consistency to nutella! (erm n.b do not put on toast bleauch!)

thick squidgy ink-similar consistency to nutella! (erm n.b do not put on toast bleauch!)

Inked up 

Inked up 

It was very satisfying working the gooey black ink into the lines in the drawing. The rest was wiped off the shiny metallic areas so that the pressure of the rollers would force it out of the lines and onto the dampened paper.

Removing the excess ink-messy business

Removing the excess ink-messy business

artist Adam Quinn rolling our prints.JPG
the resulting print!

the resulting print!

My finished "self portrait"

My finished "self portrait"

up on the new studio inspirationy wall of things and stuff along with a collar from the V&A and my fave fashion week outfit by Simone Rocha

up on the new studio inspirationy wall of things and stuff along with a collar from the V&A and my fave fashion week outfit by Simone Rocha