Seville Snapshots: SIMOF and the Moda Flamenca Industry

A few years ago, I had this moment where I had to pinch myself – I was sitting seventh row at a flamenco fashion show. I couldn’t tell you anything more than it’s name in Spanish, let alone rattle off the colors, fabric, cuts and even the numerous ways to style those ruffles.

SIMOF, short for Salón Internacional de Moda Flamenca, is one of the world’s greatest flamenco fashion shows. Showcasing more than 50 designers (including kids!), Seville’s convention bureau rocks to bulerías as the year’s top designs go down the runway.

When I went three years ago to a Friday afternoon to see Loli Vera’s designs on show at SIMOF, I was drawn into a design world, Tim Gunn style. Even though the models looked like they couldn’t have been more bored as they strutted (well, it’s hard to strut in a traje de gitana) in front of fashion bloggers and video cameras. I began to take interest in desginers – not just of dresses but also shawls and accessories – and giddily begin planning my Feria look a few months before the big event.

The Reyes Magos came a bit late this year, but they left me a fantastic present – money to go towards a new flamenco dress for the Feria de Abril, which I started designing last week with a modista. It was both nerve-wracking and exciting!.

If you go: SIMOF 2014 takes place from this Thursday to the following Sunday in the Convention center of Seville, FIBES. Entrances to the fairgrounds and stands, where you can buy fabrics, trajes and accessories, is 5 and each fashion show costs 10. You can find all the information you need at FIBES Sevilla’s official site for the event.

Have you ever been to SIMOF, or own your own flamenco dress?

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. Gah what a neat experience. Can’t wait to see you in your Flamenco dress this year (assuming you’ll be posting lots, so please do!)
    Alex @ ifs ands & butts recently posted..flohmarkt finds.My Profile

  2. Christine says:

    Okay I will say it…jealous, yup I am. I see it now, this feria-you and La Duquesa sharing rebujitos and traje de gitana secrets of style.

  3. No flamenco dress for me – not sure what I’d do with one in the States. The fanciest dress I own is a dress I have yet to wear — a Kate Spade dress with a motif designed by Garance Dore (the Sartorialist’s French girlfriend) and so far I haven’t found an occasion to wear it to.But I can’t wait to see the results of your flamenco dress! I’ve always wanted to try one on.
    amelie88 recently posted..Fall in Boston: Exploring the Arnold ArboretumMy Profile

    • It’s definitely a Southern Spain thing, especially between the fairs, romerias and Rocio. They’re beautiful, though! And before you know it, you’ll get to wear THE dress to just the right occasion!

  4. Ashley Duncan says:

    What style of dress are you going for?? I’m taking a corte y confección class here and a ton of the women make their own trajes de gitana.. I would love to, but I’m waaaay too beginner at this point. Doesn’t stop me from ogling the style magazines though. Maybe next year!

    • I don’t know how they make them, dios! They’re insanely complicated from the looks of it. I wanted something simple with a nice shape. The cañastero dresses do nothing for my figure, so I’m going with normal volantes. Sadly, I know ZERO vocabulary, so I can’t even tell you what kind!

  5. How exciting Cat. And how awesome you got to go the flamenco fashion show, I guess that’s what happens when you live in a place for a while and make good friends and connections!
    Look forward to the photos. I know there will be plenty.

    Do you sell your previous years feria dress or trade off so you have different ensembles “almost” every day?
    Lauren @Roamingtheworld recently posted..When what you want isn’t what you need. Or is it?My Profile

    • I don’t think I’ll make it this year in the end, as Betis is playing the day we were going to go. If I do, I will definitely be taking loads!

      I only have one traje, and am getting another made this year. I tend to go for something more simple and classic that I can dress up with the accessories. As the tailor put it, “Don’t you dare think about buying that fancy dress! That’s for the bored girl who sits in her caseta all day and doesn’t eat, drink or dance.” You know me – not my style!

  6. Good advice from the tailor. Not your style nor mine. A woman’s got to eat and dance!
    Enjoy yourself!
    Lauren @Roamingtheworld recently posted..Reflections of what I gained from my first year in SpainMy Profile

  7. Flamenco fashion show?! I’ll be putting that on my bucket list for sure! I’ve always loved the vibrant colors and flamboyant personality of flamenco dresses – I’ve never actually worn one myself, but I definitely envy you and your custom Feria dress!
    Courtney recently posted..Defining Home: “Livable” vs “Visitable”My Profile

    • It was one of those things I didn’t know was on my bucket list until I went! I missed it this year, but realize that it’s a must again next year!

  8. Hola he visto tu artículo y es realmente divertido, a partir de hoy
    te sigo!! =)
    El blog de Sarai recently posted..El blog de SaraiMy Profile

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