The typical Chiapas dress originates from the town of Chiapa de Corzo and describes the floral variety of the region. The blouse is made of satin (silk feeling) with a circular off the shoulder blouse, and a flounce embroidered with flowers. The skirt is long and full also made out of satin and also composed of a series of flounces with embroidered colorful flowers.
The complete Chiapas women outfit is the blouse, skirt, shoes, xicalpextle, and braid, earrings and collars. The xicalpextle is a typical craft from the state with stamped flowers. The dress fabric is usually black, but they also have a version with the white satin fabric.
The flowers on the dress are hand embroidered by the local women in Chiapa de Corzo, and more than work, they consider the making of dresses a pass-time.
The dress made its appearance in the early XX century, and it has evolved throughout the years.
Originally the dress had a flounce of free hand embroidery in the blouse and the skirt, and later added additional flounces and a fuller skirt.
There is a theory supported by the media that a theatrical company toured through the region in the 1920. During their performance in the city of Chiapa de Corzo they sang a song which they called "Las Chiapanecas" that means "The Women from Chiapas". In appreciation, the town presented a version of today's typical Chiapas dress. The dress presented was a creation of Otilia Grajales de Cuesta, and she is now recognized as the original designer of this icon from the state of Chiapas.
At roughly the same period of time the typical dance for the song was created and is today a part of the repertoire of Mexican folkloric ensembles.
The dress is difficult to counterfeit because the original Chiapas dress is hand embroidered with large loops and therefore the difference in quality would be evident.
The original simpler version of the dress was used as an everyday garment by women in the region. Today, as it has become more sophisticated, it is used by women across Mexico for special occasions such as XV birthdays celebrations for young girls, weddings, and other special events. The dress is also widely used in the Great Festival of Chiapa de Corzo. The astonishing design has made it to the international scene where it has won recognition across countries.
The designers and makers of this beautiful dress now have their shops near the plazas in the traditional towns of the state of Chiapas commercializing their product.