Sunday, August 12, 2012

vintage San Antonino fine handmade Mexican embroidered dress

Original San Antonino work of art,
"Make me if you can..."
"Hazme si puedes, si no dejame para las mujeres"

Do you remember how popular these dresses were in the 80s? 

If you lived in South Texas, you owned one or two and probably had no idea of the wonderful history to these wearable art pieces!

Just unpacked my two beauties and did some research... amazing!  Here's a bit of info I uncovered... enjoy!

"The San Antonino dress (also known as the Mexican or Oaxacan Wedding Dress) is characterized by the delicacy of embroidery, as well as the preservation of traditional forms and motifs. Fine silk and cotton thread is used to achieve brilliant and precise floral motifs on cotton fabric. The reward for the patience and attention to the tiny details that the embroiderer creates is a world of diminutive hand-holding people on the smocking, and the picturesque birds and delicate flowers of different types that adorn the neckline, sleeves and yoke.

Before beginning any of the embroidery, however, the pieces that form the dress must first be cut out and the decorative motifs drawn on. Then the fine pepenado work begins, involving forming tiny, even folds, that are held in place with diminutive stitches to form perfect pleats. This work requires much patience and skill, as both the front and the back of the smocking must be perfect as it will become the background for the small, romantic, hand-holding figures.

Then begins the technique known as hazme si puedes, so named for the great complexity of work, representing a true challenge for the eyes and the hands. The sleeves as well as the yoke are embroidered with delicate designs, harmoniously combined, with great care as to quality. When finished, the garment is assembled--some areas with delicate lacework--and a large embroidered floral spray is embroidered vertically down the front of the dress. The whole process, from beginning to end, can often take several months to complete."

Neat stuff, huh?  :)

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