The glamour of Spanish ruffles

Diala Aschkar, Art Director at Orient Palms, France & Rana Bou Saada

As flamenco dance has long been associated with romance and sensuality, there is no wonder that flamenco dresses are synonym of flirtation and intensity. With their flattering cuts, flowing ruffles and matching accessories, these dresses definitely want to make you hit the dance floor! Join us as we delve into the Spanish glamour with the enchanting designs of Dolce & Gabbana, Jenny Packham, Alberta Ferretti, Roberto Cavalli, Rodarte, Altuzarra, Zimmerman and Prabal Gurung.

The Dolce & Gabbana collection is said to be influenced by the South – particularly from Naples to Sicily – though the inspiration for these two dresses seem to have further stretched and reached Western Andalusia

With their bright colors and simple designs, they resemble a joyful fanfare of flamenco dance and are bound to put you in a festive mood. The youthful and radiant vibes are also reflected by the accessories: colorful shoes, golden earrings and ornate headpieces of flowers and fruits. The cherry on the cake is the elegant pearls on the brooches of the left dress and the beautifully designed sequins on the right one.

For her Spring Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collection, Jenny Packham did a sort of revival of Peggy Guggenheim’s 1940’s art exhibition ’31 Women’, as she was inspired by 31 muses, ranging from Frida Kahlo to Emily Blunt.

The left dress is a golden sensual tableau! The tulle oscillates between bareness and various amounts of cascading sequins. The golden choice and the shoes’ pearls majestically twist the playful ruffles’ style.

The other dress is an ephemeral gown, where tulle, lace and ruffles beautifully meet. Classy and feminine, it is distinguished with its light pink and minimal golden sequins.

Alberta Ferretti gives her flamenco looks a unique edge, making them not only girly but also sensual. She successfully plays with layers and volumes, as she contrasts voluminous skirts with tight tops.

Bella Hadid opens the show with a sexy gown, to say the least! She wears a long tiered ruffle skirt - perfectly suitable for a flamenco dance! - And a black leather corset, whose tasseled tie emphasizes its sensuality.

Hadid’s amethyst silk skirt is replaced with a similar bluish-purple one in the second look. The nineties crop top is complemented with leather belts tightened around the model’s waist.

Roberto Cavalli can surely make a bohemian gipsy look luxurious! His polka dotted dress is adorned with a cascade of flamenco ruffles. While the dominant silk is definitely elegant, the black lace echoes a sexy lingerie style. The last detail that has caught our attention is the daringly feminine buttoned zip.


Bees were on Laura and Kate Mulleavy’s mind when designing this Rodarte collection. The black lace of the first dress’s bodice seems to be woven into a honeycomb of glittering sequins. The ruffled tulle cascading in a diagonal form on the sequined lace is a typical flamenco indicator, which adds elegance and liveliness to the outfit.

The second dress is a flamenco-styled one as well, due to its crossed black frills. The bees’ theme also manifests itself through honeycomb-like layers of lace and dotted tulle, and golden flowers. The most creative addition is the chain joining the earrings.

Inspired from David Lynch’s Wild at Heart movie, Altuzarra’s collection is simply… fruity! The leather belt and leg split add a bold touch to a playfully frilled, cherry-printed dress. The cherries’ print also adorns the second ensemble, made of a bra top and a ruffled skirt. Moreover, when life gives you lemons, stitch them on your denim-printed python jacket… at least, that’s what Altazurra does.

To make their appearances even more impressing and sultry, models have a wet hair look and wear dangling earrings.

As she explains in her show notes, Nicky Zimmerman used to make her own clothes as a teenager, thus the "cutting and stitching" feel created by the white bands that also remind us of the 80’s street style. The diagonal positioning of these white bands accentuate the swirly flamenco style and add movement.

The left dress and right skirt feature similar details: laces, tulle, embroidered flowers and flamenco ruffles… all synonyms of femininity! Their neutral nude colors seem to have an appeasing, dreamy effect, while the matching refined suede boots elongate the silhouette. The second outfit is further distinguished with its underwear as outerwear bralette and laser cut crop top.

Inspired from Gloria Steinem’s feminism and her various travels an writings, Prabal Gurung is inclined in this collection towards feminine variety and floaty dresses with a bohemian edge. The colors are simple and homogenous: white and Persian blue. As for the cuts, they are mainly characterized with ruffled silk slip dresses.

If you’re feeling blue, the left outfit paired with a matching, loose knit might help cheer you up! As for the second attire, it opposes a slip dress with a heavy fur coat, speckled with blue spots.