Exotic, flamboyant and passionate. Flamenco dancers in silky dresses wrapped with rows of lace weave fiery tales of love won and lost. Understanding the various dress parts of the intricate traditional flamenco costume will help yout to recreate the look yourself, either for a spicy dance routine or a costume party.
The skirt of the flamenco dress is arguably the most recognisable component of the costume. It is typically a long skirt, sometimes with a train that drags behind the dancer as she moves. This part of the dress usually has rows of ruffles that wrap all the way down to the end of the dress. The amount of rows varies, with some skirts showing only a few rows of ruffles at the hem of the skirt while others have rows of ruffles that go all the way to the waist. The waist of the flamenco dress is typically low, to create a long and lean line for the body.
The bodice section of the flamenco dress is always tight-fitting, the better to show off the curves of the dancer's body. The bodice may be a lace-up corset type top or a plain bodice that zips or buttons up the back. The neck can be a scoop or a V-neck, depending on the preference of the designer. Sleeves attached to the bodice can be plain and straight or have horizontal ruffles that mirror the ruffles on the skirt.
The fabric used in the flamenco dress varies, but some materials are commonly found on this type of costume. Silks and satins are popular as the sheen adds more flair to the dancer's movements. Lace, especially Spanish lace, is often used to add detailing around the neck and sleeves and is sometimes used to make the ruffles of the skirt.
There are a number of typical flamenco dancer accessories that the woman may hold or add to adorn to her costume. The dancer may hold a lace or silk fan or castanets to emphasise the motions of her hands. Roses, both real and fake, are often worn in the hair or pinned to the bodice of the dress and Spanish combs are often put in the hair for further embellishment.
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