“It’s the most beautiful dress of my entire life,” says Alba of a white silk design, empire cut, lace skirt and lace details that cost about 600 euros and that her parents have paid her. It is not a wedding dress: Alba is a nine-year-old girl from Madrid who will make her first communion next Saturday the 21st. “There are many things and it is a lot of expense, but when you start it is difficult to cut,” says her mother, “and the dress I don’t even want to think about it, but we saw it on Instagram and we both liked it”. To this they added accessories: flower crown, sash, shoes… Everything has been in her house for a little over a month and she has already worn it for the first time, she put it on very carefully one afternoon in April to take a photo session at La Rosaleda of West Park. Both Instagram and the photo session are two of the factors –connected to each other– that are remodeling a custom that for years has transcended the mere religious ritual and has become an act of social validation that transfers the world’s own tics to the children’s universe adult. Just as weddings were affected by the ‘Pinterest-effect’, which copied decorations and customs of North American weddings, communions have become a great showcase. Step by step they adopt transformations typical of the bridal field, so much so that sometimes it is difficult to discern if they are not miniature weddings and if those involved in these events are aware of the extent to which they turn the entire event into a vehicle for ostentation. And it is a relevant market: in 2019, the last season of ‘normality’, almost 205,000 children made their first communion throughout Spain according to the Episcopal Conference. Different details of various communion dresses by Manuela Macías. The BBC sector, as the photographers who offer their services at weddings, baptisms and communions are ironically called, testifies that the demand in the latter is no longer simply to make a portrait that serves as a souvenir, but goes much further. “Photographic reports have brought the season forward, because they are becoming more elaborate and more special, so much so that sometimes the photographer’s agenda guides the purchase of the dress,” observes Javier Blanco, from the Kuroi and Dados stores in Tudela. Families want to have the suit in advance, so at certain points these garments can reach the window in October, although it is normal for their sale to be concentrated between December and February. Although there are sewing firms that create custom designs, the sector usually works with a system very similar to that of prêt-à-porter brides, on request. The girls and boys try on the models from the samples of each store and the chosen one, in a specific size, is asked to the manufacturer who is in charge of its preparation, usually in Spanish workshops, so that it arrives time before the celebration in May or June. . “It is not a style of clothing that is usually made in China because it is very traditional,” says Blanco, who knows the industry well after many years working as a salesperson. A manual and local work that is reflected in prices that in their upper range can become exorbitant: from 280 euros to 700 for a girl. Boy’s suits are cheaper: they are between 210 and 350 for boys. Hortensia Maese was responsible for rejuvenating the boy’s communion suit with linen garments and military-inspired frock coats. 90% of the creators meet precisely this weekend in Valencia at the specialized event Día Mágico by Fimi, the only fair dedicated exclusively to children’s communion and ceremony. The proposals for 2023 are presented there, because in communions, obviously, there is also much anticipation and many fashions, although the color codes remain stable over time: navy blue, white and off-white are the dominant shades in all proposals. Beyond the color, everything else changes: if a few decades ago the most common was to find dresses of lorzas or valencienne lace in girl’s dresses while children were dressed as sailors or admirals for them, now the options are many more and they are much closer to civil or secular fashion trends. White for girls at their first communion dates back, as at weddings, to the 19th century. In the image, cover of the magazine ‘Le Petit Journal’, from April 1894. Photo: getty images The reality of this fashion sector is especially disconcerting today because many dresses are exact replicas of models that firms make for brides, which generates a strange parallelism between the clothing used in a ritual carried out by girls who still do not have the capacity to decide for themselves and the one used at weddings, where the bride is of legal age and is going to change your marital status. Although the white that is common in both types of suit dates back to the same historical moment, the Victorian era, when everything immaculate began to be associated with purity, the appearance of “miniature brides” is a phenomenon that has to do with with which the firms clearly saw that this demand existed: “New designers emerged who gave a more romantic or more bohemian air to the dresses. And that dragged the big groups, which were specialized in the typical normal dress, “says Javier Blanco. These large groups – which can multiply the production of signature brands by 100 – are very few, with heavyweights with a long tradition such as Amaya and Marla (owners of the licenses of houses such as Roberto Torretta, Angel Schlesser, Hannibal Laguna). Among the most imitated for girls are the baroque dresses of Mon Air, which years ago turned this style of elven reminiscences into one more option; for boys, the frock coats by Hortensia Maese, who also had the idea of making linen suits in order to reduce formality. Right now, one of the most successful firms is Manuela Macías, an Andalusian firm of flamenco dresses that has made its children’s ceremony division a bestseller. “Her model of her Olivia of her has been one of the best sellers this year. Every time we published it on networks they called us to close three or four appointments that week”, says the owner of Dice. This year her most foreign client traveled 700 kilometers from A Coruña. Anything goes to get the “perfect” dress. The communion dress Olivia, by Manuela Macías, has been one of the successes of this season.
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– Article Written By @Patricia Rodríguez from https://smoda.elpais.com/moda/vestido-de-comunion-tendencias-sector-mon-air-manuela-macias-marla-amaya/