Our Lady of the Caftans

For over 25 years, Giuliana Cella has developed her unique and luxurious style with Oriental and Venetian inspirations. During her travels, she let the enchanting beauty of faraway countries inspire her: Rajastan, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Ghana, as well as the ancient Russian and Persian cultures. Her collections have been loved by women all over the world: her caftans were Marta Marzotto’s favourite garments, Ornella Vanoni wore them for her concerts, ladies and aristocrats appreciated her taste and the quality of the fabrics, as well as the “made in Italy” craftsmanship.

“When I started my career as a small fashion designer”, comments Giuliana Cella, “with very limited goals, aiming only selling to a small circle of amateurs looking for originality, Fortuny was my inspiration, my mentor, the essence of beauty that I wanted to reinterpret in a contemporary way. The dress that made him most famous, besides his interpretations of the Japanese kimono, and his floaty, “fluid” tunics, was the famous “delphos”, inspired by the Delphi’s Auriga, presented by Fortuny to the world of fashion in the early twentieth century, whose success went beyond even its own designer’s imagination. It was the first example of pret-à-porter. This soft tunic was perfect for traveling – many great actresses of that time fell in love with it, especially Eleonora Duse (who made it her trademark dress), but also Sarah Bernhard and Isadora Duncan. I learned a great lesson from Fortuny, as a result of my own endless and humble research which aimed at getting as close as possible to his secrets: the unique play of light that characterised the artistic vision of the Spanish painter, designer and tailor, according to him, was only visible in Venice, the magical city whose waters reflected ancient stories of the East, and an empire of luxury and elegance.

My capsule collection is entirely dedicated to a revisitation of the “delphos” – it is my tribute to Fortuny. My delphos dresses come in a number of versions, in silk satin fabrics and multicoloured pleated cady. Small reversible patchwork hoods in brocade and damask, kimono jackets in devorè velvet, silky kaftans embroidered with gold, printed velvet dusters.

The fabrics are silk satin and micro-pleated cady, devoré velvet silk and gold, brocade and damask prints.
The dominant colours are antique gold and bronze combined with violet, plum, ruby, octane, green, although there are some black and white pieces – always an extremely elegant option. Here, with these hand-painted silks, embroidered with silver, our fabrics become the material that dreams are made of”.

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