The flamenco dress, an Andalusian classic evolving with fashion

Seville, Spain  -  Luis Fernandez’s workshop in Seville’s Old City is buzzing with customers who have come to try on his dazzling array of flamenco dresses, their vibrant fabrics replete with voluptuous ruffles and polka dots.  Flamenco fashion hits its annual peak in springtime when towns and cities across Spain’s southern Andalusia region hold their annual week-long ferias, when everyone puts on their finery to go out and eat, drink and dance into the small hours.

One customer is Virginia Cuaresma. Under the watchful eye of the designer, pins at the ready to make any necessary adjustment, she stands before the mirror in a traditional midnight blue gown, ruffles adorning the skirt and the sleeves. Then she tries one in aquamarine, twinned with an embroidered fringed shawl in the same colour. Then a more modern styled red dress, which leaves a lot of skin on show.  “Right now, everything is in chaos, we’re up to our eyes... these are the last few fittings” before the clients return to collect their gowns “and enjoy the feria,” Fernandez told.

 AFP, referring to this southern city’s prestigious fair which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and this year runs from April 14 to 20.

The most traditional design, which dates back more than 100 years, is a floor-length dress that is closely fitted to the thigh, fishtailing out in a ruffled skirt and matching ruffles on the sleeves.

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