Traje de Luces



For a long time I've wanted to have a Torero (Matador/Toreador, whatever word you use - bullfighters) costume made.

I don't agree with the cruelty of bullfighting, however you must admit that the traje de luces ("suit of lights") are stunning works of fashion art. It's no wonder that the costumes have permeated high fashion (see above) for a long time.


The amazing John Galliano

Ruven Afanador's beautiful sexualised photographs of bullfighters

Well, I finally got the costume made, thanks to the wonderful Boom! Boom! Baby!

You might remember she made my half-bride half-groom costume for last halloween.

Although this bullfighter costume was made for halloween, I finally just got around to shooting some self portraits of it!



Carmen Amaya: Queen of the Gypsies


I've recently discovered (thanks tumblr) how amazing Carmen Amaya is. Just look at her!


But that's not all.


She was widely regarded as one of the greatest flamenco dancers of all time, shaping the way the dance has changed over the years. Amaya, of Romani origin and born in the slums of Barcelona, became known as "Queen of the Gypsies"; you can tell from the still photos and video that she had that beautiful gypsy passion.


Amaya began dancing at the age of four, and once she hit her teenage years her career kicked off as she travelled the world. Of course, she appeared in Hollywood movies during the 1930s, when interest in all things exotic was at it's peak. 


Sadly she died in 1963 at just 50 years old, after suffering kidney failure. However, her stunning dance had already shaped the flamenco world.



Amaya donned the "traje corto", a tight fitting suit, and traditional fast paced footwork, both usually reserved for men - shocking for the time. Watching her feet, it's no wonder that on several occasions she ended up putting her foot through the stage during her performance! 


Prior to this, women's flamenco had mainly featured arm and upper torso movement, however Amaya created something all her own by combining feminine grace with strong masculine moves. She did, however, begin to concentrate on a more feminine style towards the end of her career.


 She is incredibly inspiring, and now I really want my own "traje corto"!



Although not Catholic, I tend to take a lot of inspiration from Catholic imagery, such as The Pietà and magnificent renderings of the Virgin Mary. I particularly love the use of veils or mantillas, and what they may signify.

Although these lace coverings have fallen out of use (except for weddings) in many countries, it seems that popularity has remained among Spanish women on special occaisions. Not just limited to funerals, as many seem to believe, but also to bullfights, weddings and Holy Week. The high combs, known as peineta, lift the veil, mimicing the shape of the Virgin Mary's halo.  

As you can see, traditional combs are as wide and tall as possible, however it seems difficult to purchase one so large, and I've had to make do with a comparatively small one!

I took some quick self portraits with a mantilla and red comb: