Flamenco dress – calls for cultural heritage recognition

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flamenco dress

MADRID – Fashion designers ask the government for support with the UNESCO application. Designers believe the flamenco dress is part of Spain’s cultural heritage and should be recognised as such. 

Artistic director Pedro González, also chairman of QLAMENCO – the association of designers of flamenco fashion and artisans, started the application.   

Hard times for the flamenco industry 

With fairs and festivals suspended in 2020, the sector is going through a severe crisis. And as such, the sector needs a boost that the application could provide.  

 Separate recognition for a flamenco dress 

The application procedure is complete and the request submitted to the Consejería de Cultura. The Consejería is of the opinion that, because flamenco dance and music are already considered cultural heritage, this automatically includes the flamenco dress. But the designers do not agree. They find that dresses for professional dance performances ‘have nothing to do’ with the flamenco dress. Furthermore, they emphasise in their argument there are enough reasons to apply for separate recognition of the flamenco dress. 

Villa Nova Spain

Optimistic 

The 18 companies affiliated with QLAMENCO are seeking support from different government agencies. They are scheduled to meet with Seville City Council this week. And the entrepreneurs believe there is a good chance that the flamenco dress and the accompanying craftsmanship will be regarded as world heritage.  

Flamenco dress a source of inspiration 

Both the dress and the accompanying accessories are not only representative of Andalucia, but of the whole of Spain. Furthermore, the flamenco dress recurs in many descriptions and depictions of Spanish culture. And together with its accessories, the dress is the basis of an iconic style within the international fashion world. But also the language and style of flamenco continue to appear on the fashion scene. The popularity dates back to the 19th century. The main source of inspiration is the popular party dresses worn by gypsy women selling their handmade products. Flamenco clothing also goes by the term ‘gypsy clothing’. 

 National and international recognition 

This fusion of gypsy clothes and ‘normal’ clothes led to ‘the flamenco dress’. And it is all nextricably linked to all Andalucian folk festivals. Also, it is of international interest. And fashion styles influenced by the dress radiate individuality, sensitivity, and romance. 

The relationship between flamenco dresses and fashion trends, even within haute couture, has existed for a long time. And the designs continue to move with the times. But the starting point remains the distinctive, artisanal Andalucian approach that makes flamenco fashion so recognisable and iconic. Furthermore, the manual embroidery, use of leather, hand-made fringes and scarves (mantons), and the accessories such as shoes, flowers, and jewellery define flamenco style.

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