New Golden

Spanish dress may inadvertently have reached beyond Spanish frontiers before the 1980s via the acquisitions of tourists at the establishments advertised in tourist guides to Spain, via the creations of those Spanish couturiers who sought a propitious environment for their creativity in Paris, and via limited coverage in high-class fashion magazines such as Vogue. It is only since the mid-1980s or so, however, that Spanish designers and clothing companies have marketed their wares abroad on a significant scale. Spanish government initiatives probably played some role in this drive although the industry is still relatively undercapitalized and undeveloped. In the early 1980s the socialists began with the revitalization of the textile industries, and by the middle of the decade turned their attention to the clothing sector. In 1985 they established the Center for the Promotion of Design and Fashion (CPDM) under the auspices of the Ministry of Labor and Energy, and in 1987, the Cristóbal Balenci-aga prize that recognizes annually the achievement of the best Spanish designer, the best international designer, the best textile design company, and the best new designer. Subsequently, exhibitions of Spanish fashion brought design into the public eye: in 1988, Spain: Fifty Years of Fashion held in Barcelona; in 1990 Spanish Designers held in Murcia; and the projected opening of a fashion museum and research center in Guetaria received government backing of $3.2 million in 2000. An elite group of fashion designers has emerged: they are known on the international catwalk as well as at the equivalent national events (Gaudí in Barcelona and Cibeles in Madrid), and they have outlets worldwide (such as Sibylla, Adolfo Domínguez, Pedro del Hierro, Antonio Miró, Puri-fiación García, and Roberto Verino, to name a few). Even more impressive is the forceful, expanding ready-to-wear sector, notably the retailers Cortefiel and Loewe (both established in the late nineteenth century), Pronovias (the first company to provide ready-to-wear wedding dresses in Spain from the 1960s), and Mango and Zara, notorious internationally for its rapid reproduction of catwalk fashions. The expansion of their shops worldwide demonstrates the growth of these young empires: between 1964 and 2003, Pronovias opened 100 shops under its own name in Spain, one in Paris, with one in New York in the pipeline. It also distributes its goods through 1,000 multibrand shops in more than 40 countries, having diversified into cocktail wear and accessories. Zara, the original firm from which the Galician Inditex group grew, opened its first store in A Coruña in 1975, its first stores outside Spain (in Portugal, United States, and France) in the late 1980s, by 2000 had 375 stores worldwide, and only one year later more than 600. Barcelona-based Mango entered the arena in 1984 in Spain, expanded gradually in the following decade, and exponentially from the 1990s onward, boasting a total of 630 shops in 70 countries by 2002. The manufacturing base of these firms is located in the traditional textile manufacturing areas of Galicia and Catalonia.

Although these empires have grown quickly and, significantly, have flourished since the late 1980s, it is difficult to measure their impact on Spanish consumers who have access to all the top international brands in their major city centers and probably mix and match such brands with the Spanish newcomers, as fashion magazines recommend (indigenous Dunia between 1978 and 1998, and Telva since 1963 and Spanish language editions of Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue, GQ since 1976, 1986, 1988, and 1993 respectively). It is not always possible to detect overtly Spanish features in products intended to sell in the global market and Spanish consumers are anxious to espouse a broadly fashionable appearance, like their counterparts in neighboring France and Italy. The kind of personal expression typified by the sub-cultural styles of northern Europe seems absent from Spanish streets. Increasing wealth and new professional opportunities and lifestyles for women may have boosted demand for fashion. In 1989, the CPDM published a survey on the changing habits of Spanish consumers since the mid 1980s. The findings suggested that there was an acute awareness of and pride in Spanish fashion, whose variety of styles and different price ranges competed with other European goods—even young consumers who aspired to American styles could create them through buying Spanish. Designer clothes were no longer reserved for special occasions but were now worn for everyday wear. Eleven years later, a Galician sociologist noted the correlation between lifestyle, social class, and choice of dress: the professional and educated classes in Spain aspired to follow seasonal fashion and conform to a recognizable "correct" appearance; they shopped in city center designer stores. The classic suit remained the main preference for both sexes. The epitome of this awareness of and national pride in domestic designer products must surely be the addition to the credits at the end of the Spanish national news on television of the name of the designer of the presenter's clothes—all too often, it is Adolfo Domínguez, the doyen of classic, unstructured tailoring and a color palette of black, gray, and aubergine. This second Golden Age of Spanish fashion has surely inherited features from its august forebear.

See also Ethnic Style and Fashion; Europe and America: History of Dress in (400-1900 C.E.).


Allega, Juan de. Tailor's Pattern Book 1589. Facsimile, with translation by J. Pain and C. Bainton. Introduction and notes by J. L. Nevinson. Bedford, U.K.: Ruth Bean, 1979. A translation accompanies this facsimile edition of the second edition of the first Spanish publication on tailoring, as does an excellent introduction on the context for tailoring in sixteenth-century Spain. Anderson, Ruth Matilda. Spanish Costume: Extremadura. New York: Hispanic Society of America, 1951. Fieldwork undertaken in this region of Spain allowed Anderson to document the state of regional dress in this area in the late 1940s.

-.Hispanic costume, 1480-1530. New York: Hispanic Society of America, 1979. The most comprehensive and well-illustrated account of Spanish dress of this period, it follows the format of Bernis's writing, identifying particular garments in paintings, and providing a useful explanation of terminology.

Baretti, J. A Journey from London to Genoa through England, Portugal, Spain, and, France. Vol. 1, Letter 56. Madrid, 9 Oct. 1760.

Berges, Manuel, et al. Moda en Sombras. Madrid: Museo Nacional del Pueblo Español, 1991. This catalogue accompanied an exhibition of the museum's collection of regional and fashionable dress dating from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. Seven excellent introductory essays are devoted to different aspects of regional and fashionable dress and its production and consumption in Spain over that period.

Bernis Madrazo, Carmen. Indumentaria medieval española. Serie Artes y Artistas. Madrid: Instituto Diego Velázquez del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1955.

-. Indumentaria española en tiempos de Carlos V. Madrid:In-

stituto Diego Velázquez del Consejo Superior de Investi-gacioness Científicas, 1962.

-. Trajes y Modas en las España de los Reyes Católicos. Serie

Artes y Artistas. Madrid:Instituto Diego Velázquez del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1978.

-. Trajes y tipos en el Quijote. Madrid: El Viso, 2001. These seminal accounts of the characteristics of dress in Spain from the Middle Ages to the early seventeenth century, offer a brief historical background to changing styles, identify the terminology in use, and the garments to which it applies through details from different works of art, from manuscripts to paintings and sculpture, and in the most recent volume concentrates on a single literary source.

Bush, Jocelyn. Spain and Portugal. Fodor's Modern Guides. London: Newman Neame Limited, London, 1955.

Carbonel, Daniele, after text by Pedro Soler. Oro Plata: Embroidered Costumes of the Bullfight. Paris: Assouline, 1997. A visually stunning insight into the production of suits of lights today, via the workshops of Fermín, a Spanish specialist. Superlative black-and-white and color illustrations show a variety of suits on and off their owners, as well as some interesting shots of bullfighters off duty.

Carretero Pérez, Andrés. José Ortiz Echagüe en las colecciones del Museo Nacional de Antropología. Madrid: Museo de Antropología, 2002. Catalog of exhibition held on the work of the photographer José Ortiz Echagüe who actively recorded traditional costume and custom across Spain from the 1920s to the 1960s. The introductory text is a useful evaluation of the visual recording and attitudes to isolated communities.

Clapés, Mercedes, and Rosa María Martín i Ros. España: 50 años de moda. Barcelona: Ajuntament de Barcelona & Centro de Promoción de Diseño y Moda, 1987. This catalog accompanied an exhibition of fifty years of Spanish fashion held at the Palau de la Virreina in Barcelona in 1987. Beginning with Balenciaga and haute couture, it offers succinct biographies of major Spanish dressmakers and fashion designers, illustrated by a photograph of each designer and several of their creations via the fashion press. A few examples of surviving dress in museum collections are included. There are also brief sections on fashion photographers, fashion as art, and a catalog of the exhibited garments.

Datatextil. Semi-annual magazine published by the Centre de Documentació i Museu Textil de Terrassa. This popular magazine often contains useful articles on Spanish dress and textiles, deriving from exhibitions, collections, and from academic theses. Early issues were in Castilian and Catalan, but since 2001, Castilian and English are the two languages in use. In addition, the Centre consistently publishes excellent catalogs that accompany its exhibitions that often delve into local or national aspects of a particular theme.

Dent Coad, Emma. Spanish Design and Architecture. London: Studio Vista, 1990. Beginning with a rapid overview of Spanish fashion since 1492, this chapter introduces regional dress, but concentrates on the fashion industry of the 1980s as represented by official government sources.

Diaz-Plaja, Fernando. La vida cotidiana en La España de la Ilustración. Madrid: EDAF, 1997. An overview of fashion and its use in eighteenth century Spain, drawing attention to the difference between the distinctiveness of Spanish dress of the seventeenth century and the fashionable Spanish assimilation of French styles in the eighteenth century under the ruling Bourbon dynasty.

Franco Rubio, Gloria A. La vida cotidiana en tiempos de Carlos III. Madrid: Ediciones Libertarias, 2001. An overview of clothing and its uses in eighteenth-century Spain which draws attention to the tension between the adoption of an overtly French form of fashionable dress and the retention or reinvention of a native Spanish style.

Garcia Mercadal, José. Viajes por España. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1972.

Herrero Carretero, Concha. Museo de Telas Medievales. Monasterio de Santa María de Huelgas. Madrid: Patrimonio Nacional, 1988. Catalog of the museum of medieval textiles in Burgos in which a detailed description of each of the garments found in the thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century tombs of the kings of Castile and Léon are described, as well as the jewelry and textiles found therein. Fine color illustrations show the textiles before and after conservation.

Morral i Romeu, Eulalia, and Anton Segura i Mas. La seda en España: Llegenda, poder i realitat. Barcelona: Lunweg Editores, 1991. Catalog of an exhibition on silk in Spain, this is a useful introduction to the silk route, sericulture, and silk weaving in Spain, with excellent illustrations of surviving artifacts.

Morral i Romeu, Eulalia, et al. Mil anys de disseny en punt. Tarasa: Centre de Documentació i Museu Tèxtil, 1997. Catalog in Castilian and Catalan from a pioneering exhibition on knitting over the last one thousand years with introductory essays by historians, curators, and designers, this book demonstrates the amount of research that needs to be dedicated to this important area as well as the current state of scholarship. The color illustrations of important knitted objects and graphic material are a useful starting point for any number of projects. They are not limited to Spain.

Reade, Brian. The Dominance of Spain, 1550-1660. London: Har-rap, 1951. An overview of the fashions of Spain in this period, with a good range of supporting visual evidence mainly drawn from portraits of the period.

Ribeiro, Aileen. "Fashioning the Feminine: Dress in Goya's Portraits of Women." In Goya: Images of Women. Edited by Janis A. Tomlinson. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2002. This article reveals the eighteenth-century Spanish predilection for French fashions and the adoption of Andalusian models, drawing on an unpublished doctoral thesis by S. Worth, "Andalusian Dress and the Image of Spain 1759-1936." Ph.D. diss. Ohio State University, 1990.

Rocamora, Manuel. Museo de Indumentaria: Colección Rocamora. Barcelona: Gráficas Europeas, 1970. A catalog of the major private collection that forms the basis of the national museum of dress in Barcelona with brief descriptions for each inventoried garment, and a few black-and-white and color illustrations that reveal the strengths of the collection. Smith, Paul Julian. "Analysis of Contemporary Spanish Fashion, Written from the Perspective of Cultural Studies." In Contemporary Spanish Culture: TV, Fashion, Art, and Film. Malden, Mass.: Polity Press, 2003. Covering contemporary Spanish fashion and written from the perspective of cultural studies, chapter 2 offers an analysis of the factors that typify the consumption and production of fashionable dress in Spain, with particular reference to the work and brand of the designer Adolfo Domínguez.

Internet Resources Cortefiel. Available from <>. El Corte Inglés. Available from <>. Inditex. Available from <>. Loewe. Available from <>. Mango. Available from <>. Pronovias. Available from <>.

Lesley Ellis Miller

SPECTACLES. See Eyeglasses.

SPINNING The origins of hand spinning, or twisting fiber to make yarn or thread, perhaps date back to the Paleolithic period. An ivory figurine found in France has been carbon-dated to 25,000 B.C.E. The figure is shown wearing a loincloth made of strands which were probably formed by hand-twisting since the earliest known hand spindles are from the later Neolithic period.

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