Fortuny: His Life and Work

Image of Fortuny: His Life and Work
Release Date: 
February 15, 2016
Reviewed by: 

Most readers might assume that this book would be about Mariano Fortuny and his contributions to the world of fashion. If that is the expectation, you could not be less on target. Fortuny is one of the most expansive, well-researched, lovingly written stories of a man and his legacy, both of which could easily be deemed genius. It is possible to say that Mariano Fortuny had much in common with Leonardo Da Vinci when it comes to his many talents and accomplishments.

Osman details Fortuny’s legacy/history with regards to his family, his smorgasbord of talents that stretch far beyond just fashion, his influences, his relationships, and his indefatigable independent spirit.

This paean to Fortuny is so much more than pleats, prints, and dresses, and anyone who imagines himself or herself as a committed fashionphile needs to read this book to understand that once upon a time there were actually designers who were genuine intellectuals as opposed to the faux intellectual designers who inhabit the world of fashion today. To say the book is illuminating and engrossing is gross understatement as few books of this genre have a subject who is this much of an artist, inventor, and createur.

With all this said, Fortuny is a book that truly stands alone due to its both visual and written contents; it is a book that must be read and not just browsed. In Fortuny: His Life and Work the reader gets to know an amazing man who in many ways revolutionized the arts, not just fashion. The text is a bit fact laden, but if read in doses, this is just an amazing addition to a genre that explores the life and times of a man who has received little attention in ink and has been highly underrated in terms of his contributions to various areas of the arts, sciences, and even engineering.

Fortuny: His Life and Work is a must read for those who consider themselves the cognoscenti of fashion and those who hunger for knowledge about an industry that is generally regarded as vapid, superficial, and at best two dimensional.