Flamenco’s origins have only been documented for the past two hundred years, and are therefore not very clear. The word Flamenco, which applies to the song, the dance and the guitar, did not come into use until the 18th century. Much of what we know before this time comes from stories that have been passed down through families, in a similar way to the flamenco song itself.
It wasn’t until the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition that Spain’s upper classes accepted this type of dress for attending the fair. This was also soon after flamenco, the dance, became part of mainstream culture as café entertainment and then as an art form.
The Flamenco dresses were orininally designed to enhance a woman’s figure and hide flaws. The original dress had a guitar-shaped body with a low neck. With the hair pulled back in a bun, a round or square neck made the wearer’s neck appear thinner. The dress was cinched around the waist and widened at the hips. The frills are meant to enhance the way a woman walks and various accessories, such as scarves and flowers, added to the flirty style.
In the following decades the typical Flamenco Dress was adapted to fashion trends, the dress was shortend, made longer, decoration features were added.
By the ’90s, the dress had changed to be less voluminous with a more streamlined look. It did not, however, lose its sensuality. In fact, it became more simple and more similar to the original flamenco dress.