After spending two glorious days in Barcelona we headed toward the south of Spain…Andalusia…the home of Flamenco. My big purchase for this trip was decided on before leaving Chicago. I am enamored with the art of Flamenco, so with the help of a Facebook friend, Kris…. a resident of Spain and a font of knowledge regarding all things Spain….. I was directed to Juan Foronda.
Juan Foronda is a highly respected source for the finest Mantones (shawls) in Spain. It is the best source for high quality, authentic, Spanish made mantones. It is where the Flamenco dancers prefer to purchase their shawls. There is a difference in size between a shawl made for Flamenco dance and one for elevating an outfit from your wardrobe. It is a master artist who knows how to turn a large Flamenco Dance shawl into a magical creature composed of part air and part silk. That is not me. After touring the Seville Cathedral, I made my way to Juan Foronda. It was a boutique in a narrow street not far from the Cathedral and sat among many fine shops in the area. Walking into the shop, I felt as if I had entered an exotic space from a time long past. It was shimmering in silk! I approached the clerks behind the counter and handed them a note that gave a very basic description of what I wanted…carefully translated from English to Spanish at home in Chicago. Once it was determined that I did not want a Flamenco shawl for dance, but for my wardrobe, I was measured by extending my arms out…no tape measure, but a quick glance instead. Next, I was asked about my budget, and color preferences. Since I allowed a very generous budget for this piece (I came with actual euros as my husband and I agreed it would be best if I left my credit card at home…still paying off the last cruise) my choices were many.
I ended up purchasing the first Mantone that was shown to me. It was love at first sight. Creamy white hand embroidered silk flowers against a black background. Creamy white fringe at every edge. Hand embroidered in Spain in the best of traditions!