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Cultural Coexistence of Spanish Fashion: Part 3 of 3

Madrid, Spain (Image by falco from Pixabay)

Concluding this series is part three of our cultural coexistence analysis of fashion. In this part, we look at Spain and its cultural take on fashion.

Spain is the country that holds one of the main fashion capitals of the world: Madrid. With that being said, there is much of a high fashion influence and a respect for the art of fashion within their culture. Spain is an eclectic culture and has diverse styles that encompass that culture. 

Nuevos Ministerios, Madrid, Spain (Photo by WillSpirit L.N. on Unsplash)

Spanish fashion: Contemporary ideals of beauty

In Spanish culture, eurocentric features are admired because of the proximity to other European countries and cities that respect those standards. Slim and petite figures, fair skin, natural makeup, and having a fashion sense are important to Spain’s standards. Darker features are also valued, as well. For instance, thick black or brown hair and brown eyes are considered ideal. 

Torrevieja, Spain (Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash)
Image by Carabo Spain from Pixabay 

Streetwear and casual everyday wear in Spain seems to be at an elevated level because of Madrid being a fashion capital and powerhouse for ateliers and designers. Many designer brands come from Spain and spread out to other areas such as Paris, Japan, and other locations. An appealing and fashionable trend in Spain is looser and more flowy items. In addition to the flowy and long items worn like skirts and dresses, there is conservatism within their fashion culture. Spain is a country that values modesty, due to it being a Catholic country. Skirts, dresses, and pants are worn daily rather than shorts all year. 

Other trends that are popular in Spanish culture are colorful, bold colors, patterns, or accessories. European influence also affects Spanish culture, as well. These European influences promote fashion and the aesthetic rather than comfort for style. Having that with Spain’s culture and eye for color allows for more bold and eclectic fashions. Furthermore, accessories such as flowers, shoes, purses, and jewelry are valued by Spain and its culture.

Spanish fashion: Contemporary dress practices for special events

A significant piece of clothing is the flamenco dress. This article is culturally significant because of its tie to the dance artform. This is an outfit that is bold in red color and has ruffles covering and cascading throughout the dress and train. Flowers are worn with this in the hair or behind the ear. Luxury and wealth was valued during cultural celebrations. Therefore, there was much adornment with jewels and flowers on more colorful and fun events. Flowers have a strong emphasis on Spanish culture, especially the Spanish rose. There are motifs of floral embroideries or patterns on fashion within Spanish culture or influences. It is a symbol of beauty and prosperity in Spain. 

Comparison of two cultures

Spain and the United States are two countries that compare in Eurocentric beauty standards. There are also similarities in trends between the two because of the importance and respect for designer brands and tags. Both the United States and Spain apply their wealth and importance to their items and if the items are designer, there is a stigma of more wealth. Where the discourse of branding and designers in fashion come into play is with the authenticity of the designers. 

Manolo Blahnik heels, a Spanish brand known for bold and bright shoes. Photo from Manolo Blahnik.

Consumers in Spain have easier and quicker access to new and fresh designs from the most popular Spanish designers, ateliers, and fashion houses. Their proximity to other fashion capitals also allows for more exposure and access to these items. Whereas, in the United States, there is a need for instant gratification. Due to that, there is not much concern for buying a knockoff or inexpensive duplicates in exchange for the piece. Fashion and art are aspects of Spain that is more ingrained within the culture and the people compared to the United States because of the access to fashion.

Comparison of four cultures

Over the course of this series, there has been an analysis of four cultures and their fashion subcultures within their societies. Nigeria, Japan, Spain, and the United States share their similarities within dress and fashion. There also are the contrasts that come from the authenticity and history of these cultures. All cultures currently possess a more modernized and westernized way of styling trends.

There are cultural stylistic choices that create the differentiation. For instance, Nigeria, Japan, and Spain all have apparel items that can be worn casually or formally. The versatility and what is deemed modest and respectable is a factor that differentiates that. Furthermore, another aspect that influences the cultural impact of these fashions is the textiles, patterns, and colors that represent the social context of the dress and fashion being worn. Compared to the United States, there are more cultural varieties and factors that influence these cultural fashions.

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