Are ruffly skirts catching your eye as you peruse the latest spring fashion? Are longish flowing patterns that end in multicolored frills causing you to gag? Well, I saw a gray and white sort of spectacle of a skirt online and I kind of thought, seriously? at the same time as, well maybe…
After this past weekend, now I’m just thinking feria… Skeptical as I may have been toward these layered midi focal pieces, after going to the fashion show Pasarela Flamenca in Jerez on Friday, I’m warming up to them.
Every year in the spring, Andalusia flexes its robust culture a little more than usual by hosting grand three to four day (or a week in Sevilla’s case) celebrations that hearken back to the fashions of over 150 years ago. Towns all around throw great big celebrations complete with food, drink, dancing, horses, and so many polka-dotted and flower-speckled skirts. I’m talking like an expert, but, honestly, I only started going to them last year.
My friend and I were lucky enough to attend two shows at the sherry house Tío Pepe in Jerez on a Friday night. Pasarela Flamenca offered a four day peek at the upcoming 2018 feria trends. We bought our tickets a couple weeks in advance when things were mostly available. Being complete noobs, we chose our tickets based on what worked for our schedule, the 7 pm and the 8 pm shows.
And, well, hurrah! We were in for an unexpected treat, getting to glimpse the most adorable little girl feria dresses at the 7 pm show ‘El Arconcito’ by Pilar Villar. We fell in love with the pretty little ruffles, gorgeous braided buns, and proudly walking models. We joined the families, comprised of papás, mamás, grandparents, and brothers, in their enthusiastic applause as each young model walked down the catwalk. Even a few moms joined towards the end to give us a glimpse of matching mother-daughter outfits.
Next, for the 8 pm show of Rocío Peralta, we experienced the designs of the older, and shall I say, saucier crowd. Floral shawl placement, eyelet lace, wicker frolicking hand bags, satin jackets, epaulets, and large hats, these were touches that made this designer so fun to watch. And if this were America, I can only imagine all the DIY pinterest-y hacks I’d see about re-purposing your old Christmas wreaths to make those wide head pieces. The shapes of the sleeves to the fitting of the skirts created very becoming silhouettes that made even me, your most timid cultural-clothing-tourist, consider the value of commissioning one of these gorgeous trajes.
The 9 pm show was unfortunately sold out well before we even heard of the event, and in fact had a line of ticket holders formed in urgent speed in the courtyard as soon as we were exiting out the back. But my friend and I entertained ourselves afterwards with a casual tour of the outside venue (gorgeous, I can’t wait to come back to Tío Pepe in the spring when it’s all aflower) and perusal of the other wares and designers in the showroom. Judging from the booths set up, we missed some other beautiful designers. Special lights, TV cameras, people in their daring fashion or fur coats, it was a great evening and an interesting look into the upcoming spring festivities here in Spain and, in particular, the unique culture of this particular region.
So, ahem, in close, this is what I learned: I know very little about fashion or feria. Also, I cannot say flamenco is the inspiration for this spring’s mainstream fashion, but if you’re living in Southern Spain, what more obvious source of inspiration do you need for long ruffles and flounces than feria dresses? Maybe if one of those skirts goes on sale anytime soon I can give it a try..