2019 Photo Contest, Portraits, Stories, 3rd Prize



Luisa Dörr

08 February, 2018

Emma Xifeng Abril (left) was born in China and her sister Eva Lanhan Abril in Vietnam. When their adoptive mother went to meet Emma, she decided to buy fabrics from her daughter’s homeland to make a fallera dress for her for Fallas de Valencia festivities in Valencia, Spain. In 2017, she was chosen as fallera mayor.

Women and girls wear fallera dresses for the Fallas de Valencia festival in Valencia, Spain. Inspired by clothes worn centuries ago by women working in rice fields around the city, the dresses have changed over time and are now elaborate creations that can cost in excess of €1,000. Made mainly of lace and silk, fallera dresses are worn by anyone who wants to take part in what is one of Spain’s biggest street festivals. To complement the gown, falleras set their hair in a traditional three-bun style adorned with ornate combs and jewellery, often handed down through generations. Different parts of the city each have a fallera mayor (and maybe also a young fallera mayor infantil)—a woman who represents her falla (neighborhood group) at the festivities. It is an honor to be chosen, and can mean even greater expense being lavished on the outfit.

About the photographer

Luisa Dörr

Luisa Dörr was born in Lajeado, Brazil in 1988. Dörr's photographs have been published in TIME magazine, National Geographic, New Yorker, PDN, GEO, Wired, among many oth...

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