Inspired by the traditional attire worn by Spanish bullfighters, I created a four-outfit line up that emulates the power, grace and movement of the matadors in the ring and translating it into a modern collection for women.
The traditional ‘suit of lights’ is a heavily embroidered and ornate outfit worn by bullfighters. The name derives from the intricate detailing, made with sequins, beads and gold threads that reflect in the sunlight and make the suit shine, seemingly full of light.
A visit to the “museo del traje" (garment museum) in Madrid provided the first step into research about the suit, its history and its production. Discovering that all the elaborate appliques and decorations are handmade inspired the same basis for the collection which is heavily focused on handcrafted details, such as crochet elements and metallic adornments.
The hand drawn prints were inspired by my childhood memories of Spain, an homage to the long summer days playing in the garden, eating strawberry fruit while grandma painted still lives of pomegranates and quinces. Printed on light and airy chiffon fabrics and delicately embroidered with glass beads in golds, bronze and creams which emphasizes the feminine energy in the collection that contrasts with the heavier and darker fabrics and structures.
The respect for specialised skills and laborious craftsmanship adds significance, value and a story to each garment, combined with the innovative technologies and materials that make the wearer stand out against the crowd - much like the original purpose of the suit of lights for bullfighters in the ring.