>> 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 Antiguëdades 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 mantón de Manila. Spanning at least two metres wide, this particular mantón had a unique design though, quite different to the distinctly Andalucian mantón 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 mantón 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 mantón, 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 mantón 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.