Ethnic dress codes

On Saturday, while I was being chewed by a sheepdog with an intestinal disorder, that notorious socialist Catalan republican separatist (I think that’s the correct sequence), Francesc Ferrer, was watching the Spanish royal wedding. Our Francesc takes life seriously – his writing leads one to suspect that he, too, was once bitten by a dog – and Saturday’s events in Madrid had him all a-tremble. Ernest Lluch, he explains, once had a conversation with the then Spanish prime minister, Felipe González, in which Mr González said that he could always spot Catalan women at airports because of the way they dressed. Alas, alack, this is no more, writes Francesc. Did the invitation prescribe homogeneity, he wonders, or has globalisation ironed out old regional differences in dress to make way for a common style for the upper classes?

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