...watching the farm hands and local landowners' son's playing with the baby bulls? Apparently when their landowning husbands were away, their wives would throw the tanned, half-naked boys a young calf just for the pleasure of watching them move. It then progressed into a national sport, with overly dressed men in costumes inspired by the almost comical castilian 18th Century dandies!
This I learnt after my trip to Rondo one holiday, where I visted the most beautiful 18th Century bullring, the Plaza de Toros de Ronda, designed by architect Martin de Aldehuela. It has all the elegance of a palladium villa with its long circular arcade of arches and tuscan columns.
The sight of this beautiful architecture, and some really good Spanish food, gave me a strong desire for more of Spain, and in particular bullfighting and its costumes. Before I knew it, back in London, I was reading Hemingway's 'The Sun Also Rises' and had pulled down from my bookcase a wonderful book, showcasing in resplendant style, the costume of the even more respelndant matadors. I dusted it off and bagan feasting on it. Soon it became the colour/styling zeitgeist for my Weave collection.
These parrot coloured and intricately embroidered costumes are so richly encrusted with decoration in real gold and silver sequins that they were called 'Traje de Luces', meaning 'Suit of Lights'. These dandy-inspired costumes have definately fed my collection with light!
There are only half a dozen tailors dedicated to the art of making bullfighting costume, and there is a school in Madrid called Sasteria Fermin that teaches this special skill. Antonio Lopez Fuentes, pictured, is the man behind the business of bullfighting tailoring. (Photo:Luis Diaz)