Hi! As promised, here is another post explaining a bit more about some relevant details from my front view design of La Maja, aaand…revealing the surprise in the end (bit by bit!).
Well, as you have seen in my other posts, I kinda planned the mixture in between the soldier outfit and the majismo trend. But I realized I was introducing more the soldier outfit than clothes that could represent the majismo. That happened especially with the trousers. Firstly, jacket and trousers were inspired in the soldier uniform, but then, also the boots, and the sword…and it was way too much from my point of view. The only clothes that I had representing the majismo trend were the mantilla veil and the red cloth on the hip. I went back to check my references of majismo, and even if they had a looooot of detail, I knew I had to do a flower pattern (similar to the trousers that Rosalía wears in her videoclip “Di mi nombre” and that it is inspired in Francisco de Goya’s paint “La Maja vestida”). So I went that way, but definitely that wasn’t my first option. In fact, in the beginning it was planned to be fully plain, like a horse riding trousers and taking references from the cavalry soldiers. In particular, my favorite brand for this sort of trousers is ZALDI, and for me, there are some simple designs that I consider “classic”, as I have been wearing them since I can remember, since I was a child. So my instinct was to make that same design in La Maja.
And final decision, as I mentioned, was to change it to a closer look the majismo trend.
Let’s jump into the boots. A very funny thing happened during the process over here, and thank god I realized in time! I was designing boots with a zip. It might just sound such a normal thing, but the truth is that I’m designing a character living in the beginning of the 18th century and, according to Wikipedia, zips were not invented until the 19th century. The zip that we currently know was invented in the 1913 by Gideon Sundback, born in Sweden but emigrated to Canada. So, I re-made my design and used a shoelace instead, adding half chaps (they are my fav also for riding a horse, very comfy and cool to wear) and a couple of spurs, but the normal ones just for a better contact with the animal, not the cowboy with the spiky stars. They hurt . And, back to the fact that I needed to make it look more spanish, I had to use the leather straps that are sooo traditional in Doma Vaquera, what is called as a discipline and culture here in Spain. Quoting an article to explain it better, it means the following:
“Doma” means “dressage” in Spanish, and “vaquera” means “western.” So doma vaquera can be loosely translated as a Spanish version of Western dressage, similar to the American Western riding that originated from the fieldwork in an open space around cattle.
The foundation for doma vaquera is classical dressage. Doma vaquera horses show everything that dressage horses show: shoulder-in, half pass, pirouettes, flying changes, collected canter. However, everything is performed with more speed and impulsion than in competitive dressage. Horses are expected to break into explosive gallops from the halt and do extremely quick stops, rollbacks (half turn on the haunches) and pirouettes. If dressage is ballet for horses, doma vaquera is flamenco!
In Spain, doma vaquera is also connected with the art of bullfighting. Both the work in the bullfighting arena and with cattle requires speed, quickness, agility and a high degree of collection from the horse. Unlike in dressage riding, where riders ride with one (snaffle bridle) or two reins (double bridle) in each hand, doma vaquera requires the rider to hold the reins in one hand, typically the left. The right hand must be free for work, such as holding the garrocha, a long pole designed to distract the bull. The discipline of bullfighting from a horse is called rejoneo. The horse for rejoneo is a doma vaquera horse that performs movements such as piaffe, passage, terre-a-terre, jambette, pirouette on three legs, etc.
As I have researched, this discipline was official in the 19th century BUT it existed already since the 15th century in Spain. In fact, my first contact with horses was through this discipline, as my family was also educated and grew with it as our culture and like being part of us. I do admire which is the dressage bit and I find beautiful all the horse equipment designs, but I reject the part related to the bullfighting issue, so I don’t practice this discipline and I do another instead, which is non-harming at all 😊.
Back to the boots, I used the leather straps that you can find in the Spanish bridle as an accessory, and also, added this detail from the soldier hat, so I would not loose that feel of the Spanish independence war. Also I substitute that kind of feather that some hats had, and attached a rose, which is a flower that has also a lot of history in Spain, within legends, famous characters, etc. Of course, again representing majismo with this.
At some point, I thought about adding roses on the trousers. It would have looked like this:
I discarded this quite soon after a few tries.
As for the jacket and the X cross belts, most of it is the soldier uniform, but I included again a flower pattern to make it look, again, a mix with the majismo trend. Added a jewel in the X center, to make the aesthetic match with the earrings and the mantilla cannon wheel too. Shoulder pads were adapted again to the Spanish bridle and leather straps…but trying to distinguish them a bit from the boots, and these would look more like fur.
I guess those are the most relevant things that I had to explain, as maybe it was not clear for everyone taking just a first glance.
And...surprise revealed. She is coming with a creature. Of course, IT HAD TO BE A BULL! Changing a horse for a bull on this occasion was a clear decision for me from the start (also a challenge), because obviously I’ll magnify him. In English I know it is only called fighting bull, but the real name of the breed is “Toro de Lidia”. I love these animals and, sadly, hate the bullfighting tradition. They are not dangerous at all. In the contrary, they are as noble as horses. A bull is a Spanish iconic, and I think that all what it represents and its tragic life (due to humans and its tradition), matches perfectly with my character of La Maja (led to war, also provoked by humans). She can’t ask for a better partner to go to war.
I only have two thumbnails yet to check the proportions between both characters, but I’ll develop it soon.