Tango has always fascinated Europe, starting from the early days of the dance – to the point that it actually influenced Paris fashion!
The earliest evidence of Tango being danced in Europe comes from the first decade of the Twentieth Century as it came into France through the port of Marseille, where Argentine sailors would dance with the local girls. There is evidence of a couple dancing Tango on stage in Montmartre in Paris by 1909.
But it was in 1912 that tango took Paris by storm. At that time, Argentina was the seventh richest country in the world, with an average per capita income four times that of Spain or Italy and it was customary at the time for rich families to send their young sons to Europe. The niños bien introduced tango to European upper classes, and they fell head over heels for it.
By 1913, tango had become the couple dance everyone wanted to learn. Tango Teas began at the Waldorf Hotel in London, picking up the fashion of Thés Dansants from Paris, and a grand Tango ball held in Selfridges was declared the event of the season. All of Europe was dancing tango.
Clothing fashions, already escaping the restrictions of the corset and hooped skirts, changed more quickly under tango’s influence. It is said that women in Paris abandoned the corset in order to dance. The feathers in women’s hats moved from horizontal to vertical, letting a couple dance without the feather getting in the partner’s way. Tulip skirts, which opened at the front, made dancing easier. Women were sold not just Tango shoes, but Tango stockings, Tango hats, Tango dresses, and anything else that manufacturers could think of. And the color of Tango was orange.
Nati & Bruno