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Could this Dress be Fortuny or Gallenga?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by helenheven, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, I admit I hadn't heard of Maria Gallenga before this discussion :BAGUSE:, but I am fascinated! Love her fabric designs, and those long, flowing dresses which are so reminiscent of certain medieval styles. They are so graceful. I think these shapes do the fabric a lot more justice than the short dress.

  2. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member


    I only want to add that the dress looks as it has been altered or remade. The patterns on the velvet don't match where the top/bodice meets the skirt/bottom..they are way off. And as Jonathan said the designs are cut into in places. Not right for a couture gown.

    Also, is it just me or does the waistline seem too high for a short dress of the late 1920's? The silhouette of the garment seems off to me.

    Beautiful fabric regardless of what is is, or was originally.

    Wonderful info on this designer...thank you for sharing this rare textile with us.

  3. Linn

    Linn Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure that it's been cut into. I think the problem is that we are seeing it on a hangar and it is not hanging straight - so while it looks like the pattern doesn't match it may. Looking through the Metropolitan's Costume Institute's collection of Gallenga's dresses, I noticed several that appeared to be made to be worn over another garment - there is one dress on the second page that has ties on the side.


    It's possible - just a guess, if I am reading the photo correctly (that the long cut-out that comes all the way up to the dropped waist is showing the underside of the back of the skirt fabric) - that this dress was made as an overdress. If so, perhaps a pair of silk trousers was worn with it - or a longer straight skirt.

    Could we see a larger close-up of the fabric? The construction details? (I would also love to see the dress on a dress form.)

    I'd never heard of Gallenga before - thank you for sharing this lovely piece with us, and Vertugarde, thank you for the link to the Met. Museum.
  4. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Sorry for the delay - here is a side by side of a section of the pattern on the Vintage Textile site's Gallenga (gray/right) & my dress (purple/left). They look identical to me everywhere in the field and I can't imagine any imitator being able to carve a copy of Gallenga's wood block stencil that could be this exact... I have spent some time further examining the garment and although I can see where someone attempted to take the dress in on a side seam, I am now convinced that the pleated metallic lamé piece is original - the thread is the same throughout - which makes the dress design, the original. Also, between the bodice & lower skirt - in both back & front- there was some type of blouson detail that has come down. I will post more photos of the sections requested as soon as I can - and thanks again for all your input
  5. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    Copying that wouldn't be difficult at all - it's a very simple pattern. However, that isn't the point, the fabric may be from Gallenga, but the dress is not, and when I suggested it was remade, I wasn't suggesting there had been an alteration - I think someone has unpicked an older dress, laid it out and recut and sewn a new dress from the yardage. In the process of remaking the dress, the signature was cut off, and the resulting dress uses a seam along the lowered waist that is very untypical of Gallenga.

    I think you could say this was a late 1920s dress likely made from Gallenga material, and show the side by side images of the labelled Gallenga dress material (you should ask Linda Ames for permission to use the close-up, or direct buyers with a link to that page). However, saying the dress is a Gallenga would be untrue.
  6. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    Here are some pictures of the interior - the top photo is of a side seam - both side seams are trimmed with this silk tape, as is the neckline & armholes. The bottom photo is of one of the shoulders which shows the silk tape & snaps - I believe it is to hold an undergarment in place. I don't understand why these are installed as no slip is required with this silk velvet..... I noticed on the Met site that one of the sleeveless Gallenga tunic-like gowns donated by Lillian Gish is shown with a fantastic separate chiffon undergarment with long flowing gothic sleeves. You can view it here: http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_a...2=0&vw=1&collID=8&OID=80001284&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0 I wonder if this dress had some similar piece intended.
  7. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    Maria Gallenga produced garments and fabrics. Jonathan is right to point out that this dress could have been made from fabric that originated from the Gallenga studio. Apparently, the neckline on many of her garments are bound in printed velvet and it is common for the pattern not to be extended to the seams.

    "The printing of the textiles was always carried out by hand with wooden blocks on the pieces of fabric before the garment was manufactured, so that the pattern could be adjusted to the shape and cut of the material." There is however also a reference to what sounds like a "print wheel" to apply the design onto fabric but I believe that wood blocks were used in the main.

    The design on your dress helenheven is almost identical to the example you show but to you would need to do more research and get authentication.

    Umberto Tirelli the founder of the Tirelli costume rental company in Italy aquired cloaks, dresses, scarves, fabrics, plus various objects of interior design, drawings, Maria Gallenga's patent for printing on fabrics and thousands of wooden blocks and moulds. For general research the Tirelli website has a great collection of original costumes and accessories with some exquisite examples from the 1920s. There is a coat and dress that looks like the Gallenga studio.

  8. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Thank you for that link! I was wondering where the majority of her tools could be found.

    And I sure do think it is a Gallenga textile. Look at those griffins! :)
  9. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks too for that link! I saw a documentation on TV about Tirelli (but it was more about the movie costumes). Stunning.

  10. helenheven

    helenheven Registered Guest

    I had found the Tirelli site earlier but did not have time to go through the collection - thanks for the link! It took me to the home page but I found my way to the collection & wonder if the dress & coat you referenced is the same one I saw - the dress is a short length, in light blue / aqua stenciled velvet with a dropped, blouson waist with a horizontal line? It is on the 6th page of the collection (you have to hit "next" 6 times!) top row, 2nd from the right, next to a cobalt blue stenciled velvet coat.
  11. joules

    joules VFG Member

    I meant to write "gryphons". I always tend to think of that cute dog breed.
  12. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    Yes, that is the page - the link to hit in translated English is "Authentic Collection Foundation Tirelli Trappetti" - much nicer in the original Italian! In case there's any misunderstanding I am not using this dress in the Tirelli collection as a comparison to yours heleheven. They are however, very different in style. I thought it was another great example of her work, as is the coat.
  13. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  14. uklfstyle

    uklfstyle Registered Guest

    nice collection:d ;)

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