Dedicated to Gooner gals and pals who love to don jumpsuits and smart jackets as they do their jerseys.

10 May 2012

Country Costumes: Spain (Kay)

With the Euros looming over us in less than a month, the Colney Chic is shifting gears for the duration of the competition in bringing you looks and features inspired by the 16 teams that will be fighting for the title of Head Bitch In Charge - boots polished, kits pressed, sexual abstinence and everything. The fans will be front and centre, lager in hand, hair dyed and face painted. While the Euros are rather young (established in 1960) in comparison to the World Cup, it certainly doesn't lack the passion and sense of togetherness that its global counterpart envisions.

With the European continent being at the heart of the game, the Euros is sometimes used as a prerequisite in predicting the World Cup contenders. This was certainly true for the Spanish football team, whose success in the 2008 competition cemented their true potential in reaching their first World Cup win. And win they did, as Italy handed down their crown to La Roja in the cold Johannesburg winter. I attended the match myself, and while I blanked out and fell to tears after witnessing my team (Netherlands) lost in such an unforgiving manner I did remember the red fireworks surrounding the stadium when the world was at Spain's feet at that night.

I could never truly forgive Spain, and neither could my mother. She complained about Spain's undeserved win, arguing her case passionately for months. (To this day, she still talks about the obnoxious Spanish fans she pretty much drove out of the Holland box we were sitting in). However, my bitterness can't overwhelm the fact that I respect Spain as a team. As defending champions of the Euros, it's only right that we kick off our Team Togs special, dubbed 'Country Costumes' with the Tiqui-taca enforcers.

When I think of Spain, I think of conquistadores, paella, and Philip II. I think of the long nights I slaved away in front of my laptop writing about the often misunderstood, though undoubtedly fanatical Spanish king for my professor. I think of painting my faces in the German colours as I sat down with my housemates in the common room rooting against those darned Spaniards and waking up our housemistress who in turn, yelled at us to go to sleep. The point of all these anecdotes are collective memories. A country is a bank of memories, full of stories and experiences that may be sweet or sour.

Coming to terms with the idea of memory - especially repressed memory - Spain comes to mind with its blackened history post-Civil War. Taking off from a heavy topic, I thought about the histories that do remain - memories that are more fiery than it is cold and dark. The team is called La Furia Roja for a reason and my take on the Spanish look is represented in the spirit of Spain and its iconic red. The bustier and skirt set with chilli peppers as a print is a fun take on vintage summer dressing. Think lunch on the deck in Lake Como. We pair it with modern items such as a red-hot python envelope clutch and black chunky gladiator heels. Accessories are more traditional, using a gold rosary to represent the strong Roman Catholic tradition in Spain to wrap around your wrist, a cocktail ring based on crown jewels and Catholic iconography, and to finish a retro yet modern cat-eye shades to fight that summer sun.

Bustier, Dolce & Gabbana, £535
Skirt, Dolce & Gabbana, £580
Bag, Lanvin, £825
Shoes, Elizabeth & James, £217
Ring, Virgin Saints & Angels, £138
Rosary, Heather Gardner, £217
Shades, Miu Miu, £225


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