As someone with Spanish and Italian roots who grew up in Brazil, I’ve asked myself, why is it that Latin women are such a lively bunch? Of course, it is true; we indeed love parties, bright colours, bold prints, feminine silhouettes, and luxurious fabrics like lace and devoré. If you go to a wedding in Spain, you will see how joyful and bold Spanish women are. Their joie de vivre and colourful looks are miles away from Nordic minimalism. Likewise, the Peruvian Alessandra Princess of Hanover, or Sassa de Osma, is on the top of our most stylish royals lists thanks to her chic, printed dresses. In short, there is no denying that Latin women have a unique charm and style that inspire fashion designers. Consequently, tropical flower prints, ruffles, and creole earrings are some of the notable fashion trends that originated from Latin culture.
But, of course, Latin heritage is quite a broad concept. In short, it includes cultures from various countries and even different continents. For example, designers have revisited the fashion style of Spanish flamenco dancers and bullfighters. But, also the Argentinian Pampas and their gaucho pants and leather saddles are inspiration. So, keep reading to discover more about the fashion trends and pieces we wear today that were historically inspired by Latin women.
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El Matador and the Flamenco dancer
The silhouette of the flamboyant bullfighters and the Flamenco dancers have inspired several designers and led to popular trends. For instance, the iconic Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga created luxurious embroidered boleros. And the cropped jackets with oversized shoulders worn with tight pants have sparked today’s knit bolero cardigan trend. Similarly, pieces with ruffles are clearly inspired by the fashion style of the Sevillanas dancers and Latin American women.
The timeless polka dots
Another trend with origins in the Latin culture is the polka dot pieces Carolina Herrera, Diane von Fürstenberg, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana present season after season. Go to the Feria de Sevilla, and you’ll see Spanish women in the typical red and white polka dot dresses and fantastic hair combs arriving on their majestic horses. Dotted garments were a big trend in the ’80s; Princess Diana wore them on several occasions, and today, we see Kate Middleton in polka dot dresses, skirts, and shirts.
Oversized hoop earrings in the best Andalusian style
Latin women, in general, much love the big hoops or Creole earrings. No quintessential Andalusian outfit would be complete without bold hoops, and South-America women also love to embellish their outfits with gold or colourful oversized creole earrings.
Say yes to tropical patterns and bold colours
Latin women certainly like to wear bold colours and bold tropical patterns that look wonderful with their dark hair and eyes. And, you see big tropical flower prints in the Hawaiian shirt trend, which is similar to the camp shirts that originated in the “Guayaberas” worn by men as formal attire in Central America.
Ultra-feminine off-shoulder style
By playing with super feminine silhouettes like off-shoulder dresses and tops, women add sexiness and keep their pieces fresher, ideal for the warm climate of Latin countries. The off-the-shoulder silhouette was typical of the traditional outfits in Latin America, worn by women with Spanish roots mixed with local indigenous, called Mestizas.
The Argentinian gauchos inspire contemporary fashion
We see several fashion trends on the runways inspired by pieces the cowboys from the Argentinian Pampas, AKA gauchos, wear. For example, ponchos, leather culottes, and saddlebags are one of the spring/summer 2022 bag trends.
Wedges and thongs
Wedge and thongs sandals are on-trend footwear styles that bring a fun Latin vibe to fashion-loving women worldwide.
Raffia, the natural fibre fashion designers can’t get enough
As soon as spring arrives, the natural raffia is back in fashion, either as timeless Panama hats, shoes or summery bags. Initially, indigenous tribes used raffia palm trees that grow abundantly in Central and South America to wove pieces that have become the darling of Latin and French women and luxury fashion houses like Loewe, Marni, and Saint Laurent.
Finally, you may also like to read Spring/Summer 22 popular trends: what will we wear next season?
Title photo courtesy of Carolina Herrera.