Monday, September 24, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa seamstress outfits 21st century Sant’ Yago knights in 12th century fashion

By Amy Scherzer

TAMPA — El Rey XLVI Edward Banks, a 21st century Sant’ Yago Knight, will lead Saturday’s annual illuminated parade through historic Ybor City dressed in 12th-century gear.

The king’s court of squires, pages and a swordbearer, and his loyal Knights of the Krewe of St. Yago, will walk or ride alongside him, also wearing the knee-length velvet tunics with puffy sleeves in the style of the Spanish caballeros who protected the sacred remains of patron St. James (Yago) and inspired the formation of the Latin men’s club.

Their elaborately embroidered costumes are the stunning handiwork of Emelina Calles. The Cuban-born and trained seamstress outfitted almost every member of the 2018 court, more than 20 squires, four ladies-in-waiting, seven knights — everyone but the queen.

Each costume can take a month or longer to create, and typically requires three fittings by Calles at her shop, Emelina’s Bridal and Boutique in North Tampa.

"The first one I made was for my son, Ruben Calles, in 2004, and now at least 100 since," she said.

Calles, 70, learned to sew in her birthplace, Colon Matanzas, Cuba. She refined her skills living in Madrid from 1971 to 1974 when she moved to Tampa. Calles opened her business in 1992, sewing and altering bridal gowns, prom and quincinera dresses. She made her son and daughter’s clothing when they were young, and made both her daughter’s and her daughter-in-law’s wedding gowns.

Price is determined by the amount of work entailed, in the range of $2,500 for a knight’s tunic. Calles has three assistants, one just for embroidering.

"Some years, they’re more ornate than others, some more traditional," said daughter-in-law Amanda Calles. "The king picks a Renaissance style and colors and she follows the request."

This year, King Banks chose the green and orange colors of his University of Miami alma mater.

Each knight designs his own crest to reflect a family tree, hobbies and interests which Calles then creates with crystal appliques and trim.

"No glue ever," she said. "It’s easier, cheaper, but leaves a spot if you have to remove it."

Comfort, durability and practicality are just as important as design authenticity. So Calles adds pockets with invisible zippers to hold credit cards and drivers licenses.

"They walk miles in them," said Amanda. "And depending how much trim and the motif, they can weigh 15 or 20 pounds.

"Some get kinda crazy in the parades and they don’t last as long but they’re meant to wear for easily 15 years."

Contact Amy Scherzer at [email protected]

Comments
The Daystarter: Building a wall against Red Tide; TGH records last heartbeats; Dungy goes into Ring of Honor

The Daystarter: Building a wall against Red Tide; TGH records last heartbeats; Dungy goes into Ring of Honor

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• We’ll have scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. Highs today will be in the lower 90s.• As you head out for your morning commute, c...
Updated: 7 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: $1 billion Florida tax hike? Andrew Gillum proposes increasing state corporate tax

PolitiFact Florida: $1 billion Florida tax hike? Andrew Gillum proposes increasing state corporate tax

A TV attack ad portrays Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum as so "far out" that he is on another planet."Gillum wants to increase Florida taxes by a billion dollars. Disaster for the economy," says an ad by the Republican Governors Association showing Gi...
Published: 09/24/18

Hooper: Don’t trade progress for pennies. Reject Amendment 1

A lot of Tampa Bay city and county elected officials should be sounding the alarm about Amendment 1.The amendment, one of 12 voters will find on the November ballot, increases the maximum homestead exemption from $50,000 to $75,000, but the devil is ...
Published: 09/24/18
The ‘Murphy Brown’ revival is re-entering a very different TV space. Can it succeed?

The ‘Murphy Brown’ revival is re-entering a very different TV space. Can it succeed?

In one of the first episodes of the rebooted Murphy Brown, the show’s title character, back at it after all these years, faces a quandary.Murphy, a celebrity TV journalist, is being pushed by network executives to conduct an interview. It’s a chance ...
Published: 09/24/18
Hillsborough asking why rescue captain stayed back as patient’s friends performed CPR

Hillsborough asking why rescue captain stayed back as patient’s friends performed CPR

TAMPA — It was almost 4 a.m. when the man’s friends found him unconscious in a Riverview home and called 911.His breath was shallow and he was turning blue. With the 911 call-taker giving instructions, his friends performed CPR and waited.Ten minutes...
Published: 09/24/18
Dear Penny: I spent everything ending a bad relationship. Can I treat myself?

Dear Penny: I spent everything ending a bad relationship. Can I treat myself?

Dear Penny, I just made one of the hardest decisions of my life and ended the relationship I had been in since my early 20s. After a decade in a bad relationship, I’m super excited to be single again. The problem is my wardrobe. Over the past few yea...
Published: 09/24/18
Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

Snell wins No. 21 as Rays beat Blue Jays 5-2

TORONTO — Blake Snell doesn't look like he can be stopped.He pitched again for the Rays in Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays, he dominated again and he won again.That's both a major-league-leading and team-record-breaking 21st victory for...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

Lightning journal: Roster trimmed to 28

TAMPA – After Sunday morning, the Lightning sat five cuts away from having a 23-man roster to start the regular season.It cut its training camp roster by 27, leaving 28 players on the roster with the start of the regular season less than two we...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tiger Woods ends five-year win drought with Tour Championship title

Tiger Woods ends five-year win drought with Tour Championship title

Times wiresATLANTA — Tiger Woods, in his Sunday red shirt, both arms raised in victory on the 18th green.For so many years, the scene was familiar.This time, it was surreal."I can't believe I pulled this off," Woods said Sunday during the troph...
Updated: 7 hours ago
$ki Mask the Slump God comes to Tampa

$ki Mask the Slump God comes to Tampa

$ki Mask the Slump God performs at the Ritz Ybor Saturday, September 22, 2018. KASAMBA KOKAYI | For the Times$ki Mask the Slump God is a musical hip-hop artist who has gained a lot of momentum over the past year. From making this year’s XXL cov...
Updated: 7 hours ago