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Fortuny y Madrazo: An Artistic Legacy at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute

James Andrew at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute

James Andrew at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute

I’ve long been a fan of Mariano Fortuny. A true Rennaisence man, he was an accomplished painter, photographer, couturier, textile designer, stage and lighting designer and the list goes on. McBee and I had the great pleasure of visiting Palazzo Fortuny while on holiday in Venice some years ago—I still feel inspired by the memory of the home/workplace/laboratory where Fortuny pursued his many passions.

In fact, I’ve been utilizing Fortuny fabrics for years in my design projects, and currently I’m creating the most glorious Renzo Mongiardino inspired fabric covered walls composed of Fortuny fabrics and pieced borders with antique ribbon trim for a client’s entry vestibule. With Fortuny so much on my mind, I was very pleased to visit the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute’s exhibition highlighting the Fortuny family’s rich artistic history, as well as Mariano’s work as couturier and the many trips to exotic lands that helped shape his aesthetic. The show was conceived and curated by Oscar de la Renta, (chairman of the QSSI board of directors), and so, as you might imagine, it is an absolute treat—certainly requisite viewing for anyone interested in fashion and decorating. Do see it, but don’t delay—the exhibition ends March 30, 2013!!

Dressed for the most splendid day of art, I’m sporting a vintage Lodenfrey loden cape, Tom Ford rustic charcoal wool silk mouline priest hat tweed “country jacket” with leather buttons and suede elbow patches, charcoal wool tie, Turnbull and Asser forest green micro check cotton shirt with contrast white collar and french cuffs, antique black pear cuff links, Gucci grey, green, blue and black check wool pants, black suede ” Belgian” style loafers, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with silver buckle, Charvet forest green and white retro print silk pocket square, Paul Stuart grey suede gloves, Tom Ford ” Miguel” sunglasses, and my fragrance is Creed Bois du Portugal.


  1. Danny says:

    James! You’re making the cape look your own… and without it looking pastiche!
    Absolutely “spiffing”!

  2. James Andrew says:

    Dear Danny,

    Thank You!

    I think there has to be a comfort in one’s own skin, an authenticity with one’s personal style and despite perhaps being inspired by others making our own sartorial statement.

    We must never let our clothes wear us, confidence and a strong sense of self is key.



  3. marc de Paris says:

    Marcel Proust has been inspired by fortuny. I remember the gowns worn by Albertine or by the duchess of Guermantes, made after an embroided cloak represented in a painting by Carpaccio at the Accademia of Venice. Have you read one of these texts?

    What about your plans for coming in France?

    Have a nice week, James

  4. Oonagh says:

    The loden looks fabulous with charcoal.

  5. Did you know that Fortuny himself wore the same sort of black cape in Venice? I was told a wonderful little anecdote about it at the Fortuny factory and the Fortuny Museum.

    all best!

  6. James Andrew says:

    Dear Marc,

    I am continually amazed by the genius of Fortuny.

    I think we will come to Paris in June and perhaps make a stop in Biarritz.



  7. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Oonagh,

    I was really feeling that combination of the grays with loden green.

    So happy to hear so many also thought it a successful mix.



  8. jon k says:

    elegant, you make that cape look good

  9. James Andrew says:

    My Dear jon K,

    I sure would love to see you rocking that cape!

    Thank You!

    Love and Light


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