Quick: think of Spanish things!
What did you come up with? Depending on your interests, you may have gone paella-tapas-José Andrés or guitar-Aranjuez-Rodrigo or bullfights-Hemingway-war. I’d run through a lot of options before getting to lace-Sevilla-mantilla but that’s because I’m not into things that are hard to wash (delicates = the worst) and I’m a bad Spaniard.
I’m thinking about lace because a recent episode of “Project Runway,” a fashion competition show, sent its contestants to European fashion capitals for inspiration. The person who went to Barcelona chose lace to represent the intricate design work she saw on buildings around the city. (You can see the end result here.)
I would never have connected lace to Barcelona or Catalunya (it’s closely associated with the regional clothing of southern parts of Spain), but I was reminded of a cool thing I saw at the CaixaForum in 2007.
Looking back at this, I thought of graffiti knitters (also known as yarn bombers), people who knit cozies for things found in public (phone booths, statues, street lamps, etc.). The work is pretty funny and just looking at photos of their finished work make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
One more thing
The CaixaForum is a free art space in a former textile factory near Plaça Catalunya. The exhibitions are hit and miss but they have a great museum shop and wonderful clean bathrooms.