Monday, August 3, 2009

Toro Toro Toro: Fashions Inspired by the Bullring

The subject of bullfighting inspires impassioned discussion (preferably across a table spread with jamón ibérico and glasses of fino sherry). Today I'm working one little corner upon which all combatants can reasonably agree: the matador looks marvelous, and knows it.

The corrida has inspired designers through the age. The duds by Givenchy, pictured above (from the May 2009 Deutsch Vogue) are merely the latest example.

As chic as they are, though, sometimes the real thing is even more resplendent. Take as an example this bullfighting ceremonial cape recently up for sale on eBay. It didn't hit its reserve, which is not terribly surprising, for the thing is a masterpiece.

Every once in a great while, elements of an actual traja de luces (suit of lights) comes up for sale. Apart from their value as sartorial craft, these are avidly collected by aficionados, and the prices reflect this.

More gently priced, and only slightly less dramatic, are bits and pieces like this matador's cap.

Even further removed from the ring itself are garments and accessories that are inspired by a bullfighting theme. Scarves and skirts patterned with the subject are affordable (but be ready to take some heat from any anti-cruelty crusader who happens to get a close look).

More subtle are these little cufflinks. An interesting signal to send a man who has your heart shouting ¡olé!

(photo top sourced from

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