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.
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
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.
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.
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.