Mantón Reality

>> I've been world travelling again and Mexico City proved to be the best of the best for my shameless cultural appropriation.  Remember my Guatamalan fella of a dress?  Remember how awkward I felt over whether it was right to wear it?  The comments (you guys put on QUITE a discussion there…) generally concluded that if a piece of clothing had no spiritual or deeper meaning to the culture or ethnicity in question, then one silly print-loving, colour-loving girl like me isn't exactly going to offend the people of that culture/ethnicity.  Offending your eyes however by having questionable taste is another matter altogether.   

Like I said, if I could have brought back everything I saw in Mexico City, including all the limes and avocado-doused eats I had, I'd be a happy bunny.  Sadly 30kg was my restriction and souvenirs for friends got in the way of draping myself in infinite layers of wonderful embroidery.  Ciudadela market yielded the Mexican/Guatamalan cross-stitch poncho dress but it was at the Mercado de Antigu√´dades de Cuauhtemoc in Colonia Roma where I really scored.  I was walking around on the one day that it rained on my trip and a mass of embroidery and fringing on slightly yellowed silk caught my eye, spread out over an antique table.  I had happed upon the REAL DEAL mant√≥n de Manila.  Spanning at least two metres wide, this particular mant√≥n had a unique design though, quite different to the distinctly Andalucian mant√≥n speciment, which I saw at Loewe, Barcelona.  I still can't quite figure it out as initially the figurines looked quite Chinese to me.  The mant√≥n made its way over from China via Manila and then on to Mexico and then on to Spain in the 16th century so the origins of the design could be numerous.  When I posted it on Instagram, somebody commented that it was a Mexican design on a Spanish mant√≥n, which is also another possibility.  Date-wise, the seller told me was it was over a hundred years old, which could of course be an antique seller's bit of exaggeration but I'm rather inclined to believe him due to the discoloration of the silk and the texture of it.  Save for one stain on the corner of this vast shawl, the condition is pretty much perfect and the price was pretty astonishing when I tapped the amount of pesos into my currency calculator.  I hate gloating about bargainous prices but I'll just put the figure out there.  It was forty quid.  I literally came away skipping down the streets of Roma.  Wearing it may be a frightful task given the weight, the age and the general health of the scarf but just knowing that I was able to complete this mant√≥n fantasy of mine is reward enough.  Apologies in advance if you happen to be in London and I happen to be waving the shawl around pointlessly in the wind.  The obsession will wear off, I promise. 

IMG_3997

IMG_4010

IMG_4082

IMG_4030

IMG_4047

IMG_4033

IMG_4071

IMG_4076

IMG_4084

IMG_4089

IMG_4094

IMG_4095

IMG_4099

35 Replies to “Mant√≥n Reality”

  1. The shawl is stunning! I love the headband too! These are the type of purchases I can only dream of finding while traveling.

  2. I love Mexican traditions!
    El poncho est√° fantastico!
    Que viva México!!!
    best regards from germany!
    http://mariposa-world.blogspot.de

  3. Wow an explosion of cool embroidery! That poncho is wonderful. The headband is very nice too. I did find some very unique stuff in my trip to Mexico, some cool, intricate silver earrings amongst other things.
    Elisa
    Wandering Minds fashion
    http://ourwanderingminds.com

  4. I live so much closer to Mexico and have never been. I am a little jealous! I am glad you had a safe trip and picked up some awesome fabrics. One of these days you should do a post about the souvenirs you get.

  5. As I´m Spanish, Andalusian to be precise, I find this Mantón de Manila awesome! I can perfectly tell a good one from a bad one, and this is undoubtedly a really good one.
    I also have a very expensive Mant√≥n de Manila, cream background with multicoloured embroidery, that my parent bought for me when I got 18 years old… this is an authentic jewel!
    I hope you enjoy it.
    xoxo
    Maria.
    Etrala London
    http://www.etrala.com

  6. I absaloutly love your travel purchases! Your recent posts have made me want to do some more traveling for my own collection. With the religious & cultural significance of the garments I has the same issue when in India and I saw this tall muslim cylinderical hat. I am still not 100% sure either way, as I probably would have bought one if I could find it. I agree with earlier comments tar it depends on the significance of the item.
    X Annabel

  7. Love the mixture of patterns! So amazing how all these work so well together
    backtofive.blogspot.com

  8. Never say that those clothes hurt the eyes because they are BEAUTIFUL. I would buy that dress in a heart beat. I have a really good friend from Mexico, but unfortunately she is not very fashion conscious and claims there is no where to buy clothes in Mexico, and therefore flies all the way to Houston to shop. If only she could see these beautiful clothes.
    http://fashionananthropologicalpointofview.blogspot.ca/

  9. GORGEOUS
    You dare it all, have no boundaries, and that’s what makes you one of the more free-spirited and stimulating bloggers of the fashion sphere.
    Thanks 🙂

  10. That is a beautiful ‘huipil’. The classic embroidery. You can also have them custom-made and they go into the thousands…!

  11. Im from Guatemala and live in Spain I was just surprised about todays post !! There is so much work put on your manton and huipil… the colors are fantastic!!

  12. Just great! Would you like to join our party? Let’s reinvent the Roaring 20s!
    http://fashiontreck.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/lets-party-like-in-the-20s/

  13. Your super unique style is such an inspiration. I love your hair, that shawl is such a luxury.
    http://www.personalautographs.blogspot.co.uk
    please feel free to check out my new blog.

  14. I love the mixture of patterns too, I showed my mum because she loves desings like that. Those sort of prints are on her Indian clothes that she made herself.
    feel free to check out my new blog
    http://www.personalautographs.blogspot.co.uk

  15. Hi! I am from Guatemala And some weeks ago a News paper publish an article about your blog I gladly send it to you If you want. BTW: I visit every day this Page of yours!! It’s amazing.

  16. The Ciudadela market is amazing, and I can see that you found some great stuff. We bought som embroideries last time, usually we are looking for leather, got some amazing bags every time!
    So do you think you stood out in Mexico City like you’re worried about?

  17. Wow! I love the vibrancy it has, the pattern and colors. A real eye catcher. You look like I imagine Mexico to be!

  18. I’m a mexican girl, I’m really proud of my country and love to see that other people could feel and appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of mexican craft, like you on those georgeus garments.
    Hope you liked your stay at Mexico City and you are welcome anytime you want to come back 🙂

  19. amazing.
    your styling is really unique *_* and when i say unique, i really mean it. really, unique.
    ok bye u___u

  20. There’s an embroidery dream world going on here! I’m off to buy an embroidery kit now.
    Cx
    chloestanyon.blogspot.com

  21. ¡Hermoso! La próxima vez que viaje a México, recomiendo visitar Oaxaca, encontrará mas telas bordadas y vestidos y una rica gastronomía.

Leave a Reply