Fortuny's clothing designs made reference to patterns and styles of North Africa, the Near East and the styles of Renaissance Italy.
Fortuny's "Delphos" dresses were inspired by Ancient Greek clothing and drapery and were made in a variety of styles, this is one of the earliest from around 1915. The method by which Fortuny pleated the silk for his dresses was patented in 1909, but despite many attempts to recreate the method, the secret has been lost to fashion for over 50 years.
The "Delphos" dress was designed to be worn for informal occasions and without a corset, which at the time would have been considered shocking. These finely pleated silk gowns were easy to pack, light to carry and favoured by artistic, wealthy women.