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Dolce & Gabbana Go Spanish
by John Bascombe on Monday, October 20, 2014
Spain has a long history of influence in Europe, all we have to do is remember that Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, was also the same Spanish King Carlos I. As ruler of Spain (and its American empire) he was also the ruler of most of central Europe and Italy. Today this influence is still seen in many parts of Europe, in fact there is an annual festival in Brussels called the Ommegang. In the town square, thousands of Brusseleers participate in this parade that recreates the welcoming of Charles V into the city that would be his principal home during his reign. Another part of Europe that pertained to the Spanish crown was Sicily. This Italian island was first part of the Kingdom of Aragón beginning in 1409 and later as part of the Spanish Empire. This territory would remain under Spanish control until 1860 with Garibaldi leading the charge for Italian unification. So after over 400 years of relations, something must have stuck as far as influencing the culture and life, right?
Sicilian is a non-recognized language that is spoken on the island and has been influenced by Aragonese, Catalán (thanks to the influence of the Kingdom of Aragón) and Spanish. The use of giganti, or large oversized figures in folkloric events, is a direct descendant from the same custom found on the Iberian Peninsula where it is known as Gigantes y Cabezudos (Giants and Big heads). Food also shows signs of Spanish influences. The fruit of the cactus known as the prickly pear which was brought over from the Americas is a popular after dinner snack known as fichi d'India (Indian Figs). Sicily also became the center for chocolate production, another import from the Americas, in Italy.
D&G's Spanish Influenced Collection
Another influence has recently been highlighted on the runways of Milan thanks to Italian fashion duo Dolce & Gabbana. Domenico Dolce was born in Polizzi Generosa in the northern part of the Island 60 miles east of Palermo. This past September they presented their spring/summer collection for 2015 and amazed and impressed even the most jaded fashion professional like Ana Wintour—who even cracked a small smile during the show—with an unabashedly Spanish influenced collection.
This collection has shown that traditional Spanish clothing can be easily adapted to the world of haute couture or alta costura in Spanish. Incredibly deep reds, brilliant whites and dark blacks were the colors of the day. Spanish and Sicilian motifs were everywhere in an incredibly show that highlighted the playfulness and irony that are typical D&G characteristics.
It is not unusual for D&G to use their Sicilian roots as inspiration for their fashion collections. For last year's presentation they presented a collection heavily inspired by the Sicilian countryside including Roman temples, typical Sicilian ceramics and plenty of gold. We also shouldn't forget that one of their most popular perfumes is named Sicily… read more »
by John Bascombe on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Top 10 Film Festivals in Spain You could say that Spain is a country you’d see in movie and a country in which you’d see a movie: its scenic landscapes have not only been captured in an impressive number of famous films, but they also capture a big variety of film festivals . You can find film fests here on just about any genre imaginable, from documentary, feminist, environmental, short film, gay/lesbian, fantasy, horror, advertising, international film… Spain holds more than 80 film festivals every year. That’s almost 2 per week… read more »
by John Bascombe on Sunday, October 12, 2014
Christopher Columbus arrived to the Americas for the first time on October 12, 1492 . The historic event marks an important change in the course of the history of the Western world, as it lead to permanent contact between Europe and the Americas. The day is officially observed in a variety of ways and called a variety of names in much of Latin America, the US and Spain. … read more »
by John Bascombe on Thursday, October 09, 2014
The Cathedral of Mejorada del Campo Justo Gallego Martínez has spent over 50 years absorbed in an intriguing one-man mission: to single-handedly build a cathedral from scratch. It’s all part of a seemingly impossible dream that materialized after his period as a young trappist monk . A deeply devout Don Justo had spent 8 years with a trappist monastery when he contracted tuberculosis in 1961. For the safety of the community, he was forced to leave. Devastated, the former monk returned to his home town of Mejorada, Spain and promptly went about building what he calls “an offering to God”… read more »
by John Bascombe on Thursday, October 02, 2014
La Movida Madrileña in Pictures La Movida Madrileña was the movement that took place in post dictatorship Spain during the late 70's and early 80's. This social movement was like a cork popping from a bottle of cava —years of pent up angst and repression suddenly exploded onto the streets. Taboo subjects like sex, sexuality and alternative living were now free to be expressed in public without fear of reprisal. Freedom of expression was now something real. Madrid wasn't the only city to experience this kind of Movida ; almost all large cities experienced it in one form or another like Barcelona, Vigo and Bilbao. But Madrid was the maximum exponent of this new trend with people like Almodovar, Alaska, Vicente Molina Foix and Loquillo giving it a face and voice… read more »