We are looking towards Spain these days and are inspired by some incredible talent, both from the past and of this very moment. Maybe it’s that country’s buoyant spirit, cultural diversity and bright light that has always inspired artists and designers alike.
We see it in the paintings of Joaquín Sorolla, the Spanish artist (1863-1924) from Valencia, who had an unparalleled ability to capture the southern light in paint. Opening tomorrow at the Kunsthalle in Munich is the first retrospective in Germany of his amazing work, which is surprisingly little known here. The sun-drenched paintings of this “master of light” and his way to capture not only beautiful land- and seascapes, but the Spanish people, in particular women in flowing, feminine dresses with wasp waists or in folk costume, reminded us of another Spanish master: Josep Font of the celebrated Spanish fashion house Delpozo.
Take a look at these two masters’ treatment of colors, light and forms, and you will be surprised by the parallels, even though there are about a hundred years between them and one worked with brush and paint and the other designs contemporary fashion. Delpozo’s most recent designs were celebrated for their intensely structured, almost architectural approach, highlighting a narrow waistline and with billowing skirts. It’s easy to be reminded of the turn-of-the-century dresses you see in Sorolla’s paintings; and the fairylike, flowing Delpozo gowns in soft pastel hues could also have been worn by the women Sorolla portrayed.
Barcelona-born designer Josep Font was named Creative Director of Delpozo in 2012 and has since managed to put it into the international haute couture spotlight. His designs are a celebration of all things feminine, his spirit is clearly romantic and sensual. He is passionate about his country’s heritage and traditional craft-making techniques, from intricate embroidery and delicate lace to blue-and-white floral prints inspired by Valencian porcelain. And we can’t wait to see where he will be taking us next.
Joaquín Sorolla, 4 March through 3 July 2016 at Hypo Kunsthalle, Munich