Tuesday, January 18

The Manila shawl revolution, which is back in trend

The designers and firms of the moment change the form and usefulness of Manila shawl, an iconic garment of Spanish folklore, until it became maximum trend, a twist from which happy and theatrical garments come out in a modern key.

Fashion publishers from all over the world, Spanish firms such as Pertegaz, Duyos, Palomo Spain o Cossy and other international ones like Dolce & Gabanna o Johanna Ortiz or the creator Nicole Camille Richie they have reformulated the mythical piece this season.

“The new creations offer new aesthetic codes such as crossover dresses, pareo skirts or inspired jumpsuits,” fashion communication expert Pepa Fernández tells Efe, recalling the design worn by the “Juro que” singer at the Grammys. a red leather dress topped with fringes reminiscent of manila shawls, signed by Alexander Wang.

Originally from China

Although the Manila shawl is associated with Spanish culture and its name refers to the capital of the Philippines, its origin is located in China, a country that discovered silk and whose artisans were the first to embroider bamboo canes, dragons and characteristic temples of Asia with the threads extracted from silkworms .

Then they came to Manila and later to Spain aboard the ships leaving the Philippines, when it was a Spanish colony. They soon became popular in Seville for their delicate touch and colorful embroidery.

In the metropolis, it became very popular with the wealthier classes, but also in the more modest ones that began to sew shawls and the cigarette makers used it to transport their bundles of cigars.

With good taste they began to incorporate fringes and other more cheerful and baroque embroidery that included Christian and Flemish symbols. They were so successful that costumbrist painters like Julio Romero de Torres I paint the woman covered with a single Manila shawl in 1932.

Became a exclusive accessory to display at parties and special events and were kept as authentic treasures, a tradition that continues to this day.

Spanish tradition

This garment continues to represent the Spanish tradition inside and outside of Spain, dressed by great figures like Queen Letizia, who in 2004, being a princess of Asturias, wore a black and white skirt-shawl created from Lorenzo Caprile to attend a dinner at the Hispanic Society of America museum in New York.

Now, these handmade pieces embroidered with flowers, birds or multicolored geometric motifs and finished with fringes give a stylistic twist and become attractive pieces of maximum trend that actresses and models wear like Emily Ratajkowski, Heidi Klum, Kate Moss O Florence Welch, leader of the musical group Florecen and the Machine.

Also Spanish like the singer Rosalía, the models Inés Sastre and Laura Sánchez dare with designs with new aesthetic codes such as the young Dominican designer who without shame or prejudice mixes the aesthetics of flamenco and bullfighting with that of the deep America of “cowboy”, giving rise to avant-garde garments that offer the image of a new and renovated Spain.

Before, Lorenzo Caprile, Juan Duyos, Josep Font have worked the Manila shawl rigorously, illuminating avant-garde, simple, sophisticated and elegant pieces.

Pertegaz, under the creative direction of Jorge Vazquez, recovers the shawl and declines it into a pareo-style midi skirts or wrap dresses, “a tribute to the shawl, to Andalusian fashion”Vázquez says that her path in search of beauty highlights “traditions and crafts.”

Throughout their trajectory, firms such as Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino and Armani have studied the Manila shawl, turned it around and presented it in a modern way.

The British Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe, aware of the Spanish roots of the brand, turns the silk fringes of the Manila shawl into a sensual top open at the back, and thus, this piece in a slip dress or wrap version, skirt – or as a simple accessory it triumphs in the street style of all the world. The culture of Spain inspires fashion.


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