Traje de flamenca
The traje de flamenca ("flamenco outfit") is the costume worn by female flamenco dancers during their performances.
The traje de flamenca is the most characteristic visual element of flamenco. It is a long dress that reaches to the ankle, and which is adorned with ruffles in both the skirt and sleeves. It is typically brightly colored and may be either plain or patterned, with the most typical being the polka dotted traje de lunares. Traditionally, the outfit is worn with hair up in a bun and is accompanied by a mantle worn over the shoulders. The dress can also be made in two parts, with a separate top and skirt.
The outfit was originally worn by Spanish Gypsies (Roma people), but is now generally thought of as typically Andalusian and is particularly associated with Andalusian festivals such as the Seville Fair (Feria de Abril). The outfit originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when women vendors dressed in modest calico gowns adorned with ruffles came to the fairs along with livestock traders. In time, women of the propertied classes copied these outfits worn originally by rural workers. Ever since the Seville Fair of 1929, the traje de flamenca has had a status as the official outfit of the event.
The traje de flamenca and fashion
The traje de flamenca has undergone changes over the century or more that it has been in widespread use. For example, in the 1960s and '70s, the skirts got shorter, with skirts reaching only to the middle of the calf or even to the knee. Beginning in the 1970s, the hemlines dropped back to the ankle.
Madonna wore a flamenco dress in the video for her 1987 signature song La Isla Bonita. This was her first song to have a Latino influence and was a tribute to the beauty of the Latin people according to Madonna. Following its release, the video achieved worldwide popularity, and the flamenco red dress she wore became a trend later.
In the early 21st century there are a wide variety of designs of traje de flamenca for women and girls. They come in a variety of colors, plain or patterned, with short or long sleeves, and more or fewer ruffles. This folkloric outfit has inspired numerous Spanish and international fashion designers, among them Victorio & Lucchino, who have their own line of trajes de flamenca. Others who have been influenced include Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, Valentino Garavani, and Tom Ford.
New designs in trajes de flamenca are shown annually at the Salón Internacional de la Moda Flamenca (SIMOF), which celebrated its 15th year in 2009. The event takes place at the start of the year in Seville. In 2009, 32 designers showed 1,200 different outfits; there were also fashion accessories from 90 firms.