The Flamenco in Madrid is surprising in all senses. It is worthwhile to attend a show, not only because of the passion of the dances and music, but also because of the colorful wardrobe. Singers, dancers and all of the people that take part in this spectacle wear traditional dresses, pants, mantles and other accessories that seem to belong to some other time.
In this article you will come to appreciate the beauty of the flamenco’s clothing; both women’s and men’s. The ladies’ are more colourful and spectacular and the gentlemen are more sober.
Flamenco in Madrid: Women’s Dresses
The image that probably comes to mind when we talk about flamenco is women dancing with amazingly exuberant dresses. Usually long and reaching the ankle, it is obvious that this costume is the most visual element of this art form.
One of the most poignant aspects of the outfit is the ruffle. The dresses are full of ruffles, especially in the sleeves and the skirt. Contrary to this, the hairstyle is more subdue, often styled in a tight, nice bun. This is done so that the spotlight remains upon the traditional costume that makes up the dress.
While the origins of the outfit are unclear, it is believed that the rich people of Andalusia took this style from the humble peasant women that would attend the local fairs dressed in this way. The most common decoration of the outfit is what is called lunares, which is the Spanish version of the polka-dot. The costume lends itself to many vibrant colors, but most importantly red and black. Red, because it symbolizes the passion, and black to evoke the elegance.
One part of the costume that is essential that must be mentioned is the mantle. This is a fringed accessory that fits over the shoulders. Flowers are also present in the outfit, typically pinned in the hair and coordinating with the colors of the dress. Two other accessories that are part of the attire are peinetas and abanicos, but will will discuss those further in future articles.
Flamenco dresses are still changing, becoming more modern and trendy. In Andalusia, there are some important fashion shows in which the more creative designers show their designs to the public. A popular garment beyond the flamenco shows, these are also worn during popular festivities such as Feria de Abril in Seville and Feria de Agosto in Malaga, all in southern Spain.
Flamenco in Madrid: Men’s Clothes
As mentioned, the men’s clothing in flamenco is much more sober. In fact, they usually wear a black shirt and black pants. Sometimes, they will unfasten the top buttons of the shirt to refresh themselves, but also to transmit the passion they are feeling inside.
In regards to the men’s hairstyle, they are usually long-haired and show prominent sideburns. The most amazing part of their style, especially in flamenco dancers, are the shoes. They are usually black as well and their primary material is leather. Some shoes are higher, some lower, but all of them have a prominent and wide heel. This is used to hit the floor rhythmically along with the music. Women also wear these kinds of shoes, with mid and wide heels, but theirs are more subtle and classic. However, women shoes often are decorated in the same style and colors as the dress.
If you want to discover this colourful style, the shows of flamenco in Madrid are a very good choice. You will bet impressed by the music, the voices, the dance and the outfits!