The regional costumes or flamenca dresses are clothes in constant evolution. The origin of this attire goes back to the late 19th, early 20th century, but since then it has suffered big changes according to the era and the social situation of each moment in time.
The flamenca dress combines tradition and innovation, keeps a basic tailored structure of the body on the hip, and a skirt with frills. However, over time the designer's creativity has flowed and a lot of elements have eventually changed. From the idea of combining colours and designs, to alterations in elements like necklines, sleeves and the use of different materials to make them. Since the 90's, after a decade of over the top dresses with a lot of laces and satin ribbons, they became simpler, without too many ornaments, starch, and hidden hips. Silk cloths, plain colours and polka dots slowly became more used in the new designs. Also, the contour waist and the frills became more popular, and with the arrival of the 21st century they started rescuing materials like poplin, a thin, rigid, heavy and durable cloth that has a fine grooved horizontal look. The dresses, also, began to be manufactured in two pieces and decorated with bigger polka dots.
According to the International Flamenco Fashion Fair, the flamenca dress sector moves more than 120 million euros annually only in exports, with Japan being the country thar receives the most goods. About 65.000 people visited the fair last month, which celebrated 23 years of activity, and in the event 46 designers displayed 1.400 dresses in 32 professional runways. Despite the decrease of the industry during the economical crisis, the flamenco fashion is still weathering the storm well. Specially since, even though there are high quality dresses or designer ones with high prices, it also exists a great variety of them for people who wants something less expensive. The average prices of this costumes are in between 300 or 400 euros and 2000, depending of their quality and exclusivity.
The haute couture industry has also started making space for this products, and highly reknowned designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Victorio & Lucchino have already started their own flamenca dresses clothing line. Also, they have extended this business to the stage and the artists where a lot of unique costumes have been manufactured exclusively for various flamenco dancers. In both environments the main key has always been to mix classic with modern ideas.
On the other hand, the flamenco skirts are a complementary element of this fashion area that also has changed a little bit with time. The most important thing when choosing a skirt for dance is that it has to be comfortable, has to have flight so it can be easily handled, and it has to fit well the person that is using it. Skirts are key for dance academies and schools, and also for all sorts of amateur and professional shows. There are two kinds of basic dancing skirts: the rehearsal and the show ones.
The rehearsal skirt tends to be shorter than the one made for stage, and this is because it helps the teacher to watch the students feet while they practice in class. That way, it is easier to correct the mistakes and even the students can look at themselves and know what they are doing wrong. On the other side, the professional skirt is for flamenco dancers who use it for their shows on stage.
As for the skirts main characteristics, the flare will depend on the amount of cloth used to manufacture it as well as the number of keels. The keels are essentially the vertical seams that connect the different parts of the garment. The more keels it includes the more flare the skirt will have. Often this costumes have frills as decorative elements, but there are also those that don't have them. In order for it to fit the dancers figure it is important that the skirt has a lot of flare, and this is achieved with the cloth, godets and frills. Godets are cut fabric pleats added to the lower part of the skirt to give it more flight and weight. Also it is interesting to mention that some models use yoke, which is a superior piece of cloth that adjusts to the hip, from which the skirt part begins.
Even though it is known by everyone, nowadays exists a variety of skirts with different designs, colours, prints and sizes. As and advice, in order to choose a skirt it is better to not select one that uses two plain colours, because the frills can look like they are patches. Instead look for skirts with one colour and polka dots, it will look much better. However, the decision about which one you should choose will depend on your body type as well as the amount and level of activity you are doing. There are skirts for amateurs, semi professionals or professionals. If you are just starting in the flamenco dance you don't really need to spend too much money on a skirt, though the more you dance you will probably look for a better quality one. As in choosing the correct shoes, beyond the design, the most important thing is that your garment is comfortable. In Flamencoexport also, if you want, you can customize them according to your measurments and your personal taste. The biggest advantage of this is that it will we taylor made and it will fit you perfectly. Besides it will be original.
The most common skirts are normally manufactured in flat-knitted fabric, since it is a material that doesn't get damaged as fast, its light and has a lot of flare. The waist is usually elastic, which allows it to fit the body of the dancer, and, depending of the model, some can even come without zipper or brackets. This basically makes much easier to get it fix if needed. It is important, of course, to take good care of the skirts. It has to be appropiately washed and stored. Try not to fold it to not wrinkle it, and if possible, hang it so it doesn't get deformed.