Ready to die of beauty? Check out the breathtaking gypsy couture by Juana Martin, and be prepared to swoon!
By Chere Di Boscio
We love couture for so many reasons. For one, it’s simply stunning. It uses world’s most exquisite fabrics and materials to create the floaty, diaphanous frocks that dreams are made of. It’s also usually quite sustainable, as couture is an art form that’s designed to last, or even to be passed down from generation to generation. It also sustains artisanal traditions, including hand pleating, beading, embroidery and more. And finally, it can even serve as a cultural and artistic expression.
That’s very true in the incredible gypsy couture by Juana Martín. This year, her collection was selected among more than 150 proposals to represent her hometown of Cordoba, in the contest of Young Designers in Spain.
The collection was presented during Paris Couture Fashion Week, inspired by the four stunning locales in Cordoba that have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Specifically, these are the Mosque of Cordoba, the Old Town, the Patios Cordobeses and the Medina-Azahara.
These ancient, mainly formerly Muslim sites, have served as a source of inspiration for Juana Martín for the elaboration of her designs. “We can say that (these places) are engraved in my DNA”, she said.
The white of the lights of Medina Azahara (City of Light), the intimacy of prayer at the Mezquita and the intense bursts buganvilla, so characteristic of the Cordoban Patios, are but a few signs of identity that the designer wants to convey through her unique pieces.
Martin’s heritage is pure Spanish gypsy, which is reflected in the flamenco frills and bold floral patterns in some of her designs. She has been one of the protagonists in the book “50 Gypsy Women in Spanish Society” (2003), which was published jointly by the FSG and the Institute of Women. And she couldn’t be more proud of her culture.
In 2005, she became the first Andalusian, Cordoban and gypsy woman to show at CIBELES, (Madrid’s fashion week). Her collection was a resounding success. Since then, she’s participated in every season of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. She has presented her flamenco collections in SIMOF in 2008, and 2010, bringing gypsy culture to the mainstream.
She opened her first shop in Cordoba in June 2007 and in December of the same year, opened her second store in the city of Seville. Currently, her collections can be purchased at the Atelier at Córdoba or in the Madrid Showroom. She also recently opened a shop in Marbella (Málaga).
Always keeping sustainability in mind, she has ensured that all the jewellery she showed in her latest collection was ethical, too. Each piece was made by Facet, especially designed for her work. Facet is proud to be one of the pioneering brands being awarded the TRACEMARK traceability seal. Facet was the perfect companion for Martin to express the gypsy’s traditional love of bold, layered jewellery.
To add even more impact to this new collection, the City Council of Cordoba and the Delegation of Tourism of
Cordoba have allowed the use of the historic sites mentioned above. This was quite an unusual move, as it was the first time that cameras were permitted to record an event at these places.
But given how culturally valuable and visually stunning Martin’s work is, it was clearly worth it.