The World of The Capitola Cabana Dress

Capitola Cabana Dress

$118.50

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How I was Inspired

The Capitola cabana dress is named after the most picturesque of the little cities that string together along the Monterey Bay. Like a village along the Mediterranean, the hills run right down to a central cove where cafes spill out onto the beach. Nestled as it is on the Bay’s inner curve, Capitola is protected from the more violent (and exciting) surf north along the coast and is always a few degrees warmer too. Growing up, I always thought of our neighboring town of Capitola as a little more European than Santa Cruz: it was a place to take your out-of-town guests to watch a sunset on the beach.

The Imprint of Flamenco

The ruffled silhouette of the Capitola cabana dress, however, finds inspiration from Spain. My mother was an expatriate in Andalusia (Southern Spain) for much of the 1960s and early 1970s. Thus, my parent’s record collection included a lot of Spanish guitar and flamenco music. I would stare at the album covers, admiring the dancer’s sinewy arms and volumes of polka dot ruffles. The flamenco dresses were incredibly girly, yet the dancers decidedly forceful and upright. I remember watching a film of “El Amor Brujo” by Manuel de Falla over and over to try to mimic the posture and grandeur of the dancers. Spanish women in flamenco juxtapose femininity and strength in an intoxicating way. The Capitola cabana dress is delicate, with fluttering sleeves, yet made for function with double side slits, making the narrow shape easy for walking. I wish I could have worn this dress to my own wedding: against one’s body it feels like a nightgown, but to everyone else, the impression is 100% femme fatale.

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