Juana Martin brings Andalusian style to Paris with haute couture debut

PARIS, July 7 (Reuters) – Spanish designer Juana Martin took to a gravely runway in a Paris school yard Thursday for her haute couture debut in the French capital, sending out a collection that drew on flamenco references while recasting traditional styles.

Actress Rossy de Palma opened the show, which paid hommage to Spain’s Andalusia region, wearing a long, ivory overcoat covered with white beadwork.

She wound around the garden at a snail’s pace to the traditional singing and guitar strumming of live performers, including singer Israel Fernandez, halting to greet them with a dramatic twist of her hand – flamenco style.

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With the other looks that followed, Martin played with volumes, tossing bolero jackets over long, black skirts made from piles of ruffles, and a short, bouncy tutu so full it turned upwards. An all-ivory look paired fitted shorts with a wide puffed jacket that had short cape sleeves.

Some models wore prominent silver rose earrings, a pattern that also appeared engraved on a leather dress with matching gloves.

Martin is the third Spaniard to take part in France’s official haute couture schedule, following Cristobal Balenciaga and Paco Rabanne – and she is the first Spanish and Gitana woman to do so.

“I’m so proud of her — she’s a friend of mine but also I’m a huge fan of her work,” de Palma told Reuters after the show, when guests gathered under trees for wine and chorizo.

“It is not only historic for me but also for the fashion industry in Spain,” said Martin, speaking through an interpreter.

She said she would like to continue showing her haute couture line in Paris.

“I have a lot of stories to tell and I’d like to do it here,” she said.

Thursday was the closing day of haute couture shows in Paris this season.

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Reporting by Mimosa Spencer; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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