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Andalusia and fashion: a love story

The fixation of the industry – especially sewing – by the Andalusian aesthetic is not new but has a long way to go. “The presence of what we would consider Andalusian today has been frequent in couture, especially from the 1930s on with dresses with ruffled skirts from the knee,” recalls the Paris-based fashion historian Miguel Martinez Albero. The expert also talks about the use of lace, ruffles, polka dots or raised embroidery in jet and gold. Of course, he points out that, at that moment in history, these stylistic concessions were associated with the Spanish, not particularly with the Andalusian. Later, with Christian Lacroix, Manuel Ungaro and John Galliano, they would learn the distinction.

The latter is perhaps the most interesting, due to “his mother’s Spanish origins with the extravagance of British fashion”, points out Martínez Albero. Juana Martín also mentions John Galliano. “He came to the Seville Fair and photographed the suits of my clients. They did not know Galliano. “A man lying on the ground was taking pictures under the suits in the booths,” they told me. And it was John Galliano”, recalls the creator.

The approximation of Maria Grace Chiuri to the Andalusian aesthetic was restrained, but it ties in with the tradition of French sewing. “If there is a theme that has always prevailed, it is the steering wheel and the polka dot, the carnation, the Cordovan hat and the recreation of a prototypical Andalusian or Spanish image that is almost identified as the Carmen of Prosper Merimée”, alleges the historian.

Image from the 2003/04 Haute Couture collection by John Galliano for Christian Dior.

© Courtesy of Getty Images

AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Andalusia and the folklore are trendy. Or have they never stopped being? Now, however, we stop applauding him through foreign collections and do so from own conquests – Have we already said that Juana Martín is the first woman to be invited to Haute Couture? – and from some designers – Palomo Spain, Leandro Cano… – who lead Andalusian fashion and, by extension, national fashion to excellence. The secret is none other than work. This is how it is for Juana Martín, who never tires of repeating it: “being in the front line means that you have to leave your skin and my team and I have left it to ourselves and we will continue to leave it to ourselves, trying to take Spain and Andalusia to the place where they deserve”.

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