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Juana Martín: "Many of those who say it as an insult would like to be dressed as gypsies"


Highlights: Juana Martín is the first Spanish woman to parade in haute couture in Paris. She premieres the costumes of the flamenco ballet 'Angels and demons' and will present her third collection on the French catwalk in July. Her father was a street vendor of clothes in Córdoba and she grew up watching him, helping him. "I have never asked permission or forgiveness for being a gypsy. I don't forgive you for not being one," she says.

The designer, the first Spanish woman to parade in haute couture in Paris, premieres the costumes of the flamenco ballet 'Angels and demons' and will present her third collection on the French catwalk in July

The idea was to chat face to face in Madrid, but Juana Martín did not have the life to get a millimeter out of her schedule this "frenetic" week, in which she prepares the costumes for the premiere of a play, finalizes the details of the 28 exclusive models of her third collection for the haute couture parades in Paris and supervises some reform works in her business. So we talked by video call, she sitting on the floor of her workshop in Córdoba, among a hubbub of seamstresses, hangers and painters, and her four-year-old son Manuel, sneaking into the plane from time to time claiming his mother's attention. The boss of all this, in jeans and battle shirt, deals with each other between attack and coughing attack, product, she says, of the stress that drags the last weeks.

Does it impose so much premiere?

Look, it's weird. To conceive a collection of clothes I need to be in my world, in my land, with my things, that's why I don't leave Córdoba. But, at the same time, I don't know how to work without pressure. My mother scolds me and tells me that I always speed up at the last minute, but the adrenaline gets my act together.

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She started designing flamenco fashion and now dresses a ballet. Are your costumes for dancing?

Well, the flamenco costume is not for dancing, although you also dance with it. It is a costume of celebration, of celebration, of tradition. My dresses for the play are of mourning, but also of joy. In it, a woman goes from anguish to hope after a cancer diagnosis. Hence the title, Angels and Demons. Dressing that woman in that struggle has touched me a lot emotionally.

Do you have cases nearby?

At my side. My father died of cancer at age 69, after four years of treatments, hospitals and clinical trials, and so did my aunt. I haven't gotten over it. My father was my everything. My son Manuel was born after his death, I have my husband, my mother, my brothers, I am a happy and full woman, but the pain of that absence is never removed.

His father was a street vendor of clothes. What did you learn from that school?

My father had the most beautiful stall in the market in Córdoba. People lined up to buy him special jeans, rebecca with some detail that he ordered from the factories, beautiful dresses, of all sizes, for everyone. I grew up watching him, helping him. On the days that we did not have school, the brothers would watch the stall because in the noise there was always someone who took something carelessly. That sense of taste, of style, of smelling what people want and giving it to them, of dedication to customers and of a job well done is, with education and know-how, the inheritance I have received, and the values that I try to transmit to my son.

Have you ever felt a different look because you are a gypsy?

I will not deny that I have lived ugly things in my childhood and adolescence, but I have always revolted against that. When they tell me that I am a gypsy accepted by society, I jump. I have never asked permission or forgiveness for being a gypsy. I don't forgive you for not being one nor do I have to thank you for accepting me. Sometimes, I've heard people say, "You're dressed like a gypsy." Many of those who say it as an insult to dress like gypsies would like more. In that I am very severe. There are good and bad gypsies, rich and poor, there is everything, as everywhere.

A steering wheel is a waste of fabric. Why do you like them so much?

The steering wheel is universal. From Valentino to Chanel and Lacroix have used it. A steering wheel likes in New York, Milan, Paris, Saudi Arabia, each designer adapts it to his style, but in Andalusia we take it to the extreme and that is where we work best. A flyer, well carried, is a grace, a volume, a here I am, a nobody coughs at me. Well-worn flyers give you confidence, make you feel powerful, give you wings, strength, empower you.

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A post shared by JUANA MARTÍN (@juanamartinoficial)

She makes dresses for big days: bride, fair, ceremony. Did the pandemic suffer greatly, with its restrictions on social gatherings?

We had a terrible time, because we were left without weddings, without fairs, without parties and we had to reinvent ourselves. We designed and sold masks and so, suffering a lot, I have been able to keep the employment of my seamstresses and now we do not stop working. This year the weddings, the fairs and the Rocío have been the madness. But I also have minimalist clothes, t-shirts and jeans.

And would I have something for myself, with my years, my size and my little saltshaker?

How if I have? I have it all. You don't have to be 20 years old, 90-60-90 in outline and boobs in your throat for me to dress you. My father dressed, and very well, all his clients. I, as a stylist, can advise you what to wear and what to avoid so that you go well dressed, but the woman has to feel beautiful as she is. I, for example, am short, I have chubby legs, and, although I have my bad days, I do to feel beautiful.

Juana Martín, in the stalls of the theater where 'Ángeles y demonios', a flamenco ballet for which she has designed the costumes, will be premiered. Samuel Sanchez

Do we all have complexes?

Look, I have had in the fitting room perfect women bitter by a minimal fold of skin at the waist and others with obvious overweight, so sexy and so happy. We are insecure because we want to be perfect and we compare ourselves to others, but we have the power to be unique and not demand so much, because we can be very dangerous to ourselves.

She is the third Spaniard, and the first woman, to parade in haute couture in Paris. Does it 'rent' you?

Haute couture is not as profitable economically as prestige and speaker for the rest of the world. Being in Paris is not free, nor can anyone go. You have to be invited. I've been looking for beans all my life, nobody has given me anything, and there I am, playing the guy.

Going from selling at the flea market to the catwalk in Paris must be stupefying to the ego. How do we go about self-esteem and self-love?

Self-esteem has wanted to sink me many times in the guild in Spain. When they have wanted to trample on me, I have worked harder. When they wanted to throw me out of a place to put another more modern, I left. Either you kill me completely, or, if you leave me a thread of life, I am reborn. Now the Cordoban, the Andalusian, the racial, the origins, parades in Paris, just before Fendi. It seems that there they have understood my DNA and my origin. So self-love, everything. That's why I'm here.

Cordobesa in Paris

Juana Martín (Córdoba, 49 years old) imagines dresses and sews them since, as a child, she made a skirt with rags from cleaning her house and amazed her own parents, accustomed to buying and selling clothes in street markets. Today, after making the leap to the international market without leaving her Cordoba workshop, she gives work to a handful of seamstresses who embroider, in every way, their wedding, flamenco and party dresses, and also their t-shirts and jeans. On June 27 he premiered in Madrid the costumes of the flamenco dramatic ballet Ángeles y Demonios, with the dancer Patricia Donn in front, and on July 6 he paraded for the third time in the week of haute couture in Paris. She is the third Spaniard and the first woman dressmaker to achieve this.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-06-04

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