Last year I learned a valuable Feria lesson. I´d decided to go Guiri cool and bought myself a secondhand red wine coloured Feria dress, with no fancy bells or whistles and slung on a pair of black high heeled boots. It all sounded fine in principle, after all, I´m not from round here, there´s no point trying to outglam the effortless yet expensive gitana style that permeates the feria ground.
So off I trotted feeling quite pleased with myself, that is until I got to the Feria and felt like the poor relation. Around me was a sea of immaculately decked out Sevillanas, with hip hugging outfits that on occasion dazzled the senses. And here I was all dark and dreary. So, in that moment I made a pact to zhuzh myself up before I set foot again onto the hallowed feria turf in anything resembling a traje de flamenca.
Someone who had a reputation for being an expert in zhuzhing was Viki or LaVique as she´s known in the world of fashion design and theatrical costumes in which she operates. Working out of her workshop in Planeta Propio on Calle San Luis, where her designs can be bought off the peg, Vicki had worked wonders on a friend´s dress last year, but somehow I left things until far too late, the pre-feria madness had already kicked off and Viki was up to her eyeballs in lunares.
So she directed me round the corner to her friend fellow seamstress Marilene who shares a workspace called La Fibra near Plaza Pelicano, where as a rule she designs and makes men´s one off´s. Marilene seemed unfazed by my request to sew some life into my dowdy number, and quickly made some suggestions of how to up the zhuzh quota. I just needed to purchase the extra material myself and we´d be business.
So off I hopped once more, dress in bike basket, to Arias Almacenes, just off Plaza Encarnación, purveyor of dress fabrics for all occasions, but with just a few weeks to before Feria, the aisles were rammed with spotty materials of every hue. I must admit to feeling rather overwhelmed by the dizzying array of materials, and almost found myself shelling out a small fortune, until I found the perfect turquoise colour to compliment the dark burgundy of my dress. And what with neither my dress nor the material I wanted to buy being anything like current Feria dress fashion, the two meters I needed cost me less than 10 Euros.
And so I left the dress and fabric in Marilene´s capable hands, with the prospect of an extra volante (frilly bit at the bottom) and some cap sleeves to greet me on my return two weeks later. And as you can see from the photo, she came up trumps.
Tomorrow is the big day, so with my matching complimentos (accessories) all sorted, it´s just a matter of immersing myself in Youtube clips to see if I can remember anything beyond La primera (the first) of the Sevillanas.
Lavique, Planeta Propio, Calle San Luis 58, Sevilla. Tel: 619548139
Marilene d’Sastre, Lafibra, Calle Juzgado 17, Sevilla. Tel 673607137
Arias Almacenes, Calle Puente y Pellon 9