A while back while researching material in New York Public Library, I unexpectedly came upon a set of articles which dated back to 1930-s of the past century about one of the most extraordinary bullfighters of Spain, legendary Manolete. And even though I came to the library with entirely different purpose, I ended up spending the day reading up every single publication on The Matador of Spain. I also ended up printing a suitcase load of materials and ever since than remain under the spell of the man who was described as The Artist Of Corrida. I could not help but feel the need to recreate his story in hats and so today, I am introducing to you Part 1 of the "Manolete" segment with traditional bullfighter's hat called "montera". It became a very special hat I worked on for quite some time to make sure it is not only authentic and anatomically correct so do speak when it came to shape, but also to make sure that the details: beading, crystal embroidery and trimmings gave "Manolete" montera as strong of a character as the character of the man who is now long gone.
When I first started to plan editorial for "Manolete", it quickly became very obvious to me that the Matador's suit must be authentic. Through research I found a very special company based in Madrid, Spain which specializes in producing Matador's suits all by hand, embellished with amazing traditional hand embroidery. When, finally, our Matador's suit arrived and was unpacked - everyone in the room and I mean every single person stopped in its tracks. Breathtaking! We came to discover that the Matador's jacket is lined with steel plates and is extraordinarily heavy. I tried to imaging how difficult it must be not only to wear the suit but also fight the bull while wearing it.
Manolete started his bullfighting career at the age of 17 and soon after became a cultural hero. He fought almost 100 times a year and was gored 11 times during his professional career. And although his career as bullfighter was one of the most astonishing in the history of Spanish Corrida, what touched me the most about the story of his passionate love for the beautiful actress Lupe Sino.
With in the following weeks I will introduce you to the entire "Monolete" editorial with more fabulous hats and stories behind creating them. I am wishing everyone wonderful week ahead. :-)
Styled by Anya Caliendo for "Anya Caliendo. Couture Millinery Atelier", photographed by Ed Hafizov, Model - Dzmitry Patuk.