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Series / Velvet

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Velvet (originally titled Galerías Velvet) is a Spanish television series produced by Bambú Producciones for Antena 3.

The show primarily focuses on the love story of Alberto Marquez, heir of Galerías Velvet, one of the most prestigious fashion houses in late 1950s Madrid, and Ana Ribera, who works as a seamstress there. As Alberto struggles to maintain Velvet's prestige and profitability, Ana works to make her mark as a fashion designer in her own right. The show also focuses on the personal lives of other employees, namely Alberto's friend and business partner, Mateo Ruiz; Alberto's scheming half-sister Patricia Marquez; sisters Rita and Clara Montesinos; Velvet's managers Blanca Soto and Emilio Lopez (who is also Ana's uncle); designer Raul de la Riva; and Plucky Comic Relief Pedro Infantes (and later, his cousin Jonas).

It ran for four seasons between February 2014 and December 2016; currently, it's available on Netflix for USA, Canadian, Latin American, and UK audiences.


In February 2017, it was confirmed that pay operator Movistar+ had acquired the Velvet brand from Atresmedia to launch a Spin-Off titled Velvet Colección, following the Velvet employees (both current and new) as they open a second Velvet branch and design school in Barcelona in the 1960s, which is also available on Netflix.

This work provides examples of:

  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Cristina calling the local press about Alberto and Ana, done in a moment of rage and grief after Alberto annulled the marriage directly led to her mental breakdown and Albertos's "death."
  • Absentee Actor: Miguel Angel Silvestre's other commitments meant part of the third and almost the entire fourth season had to be written around his absence.
  • Accidental Harem: Barbara and Cristina each use Victor as part of plots against their estranged husbands. Clara also leans on him after her breakup with Mateo. Poor Victor just wants to do his job and not get punched in the face by a bunch of jealous significant others.
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  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: How Clara and Mateo each feel about their parents, for differing reasons.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Raúl is flamboyant and dramatic and his closest friendships are, for the most part, with seamstresses or women. This could easily be dismissed as part of his job as a fashion designer. In the third season, while helping a friend avoid being arrested and escape Spain "for being who he is", their interactions heavily imply Raul is gay.
  • Amicable Exes: Clara and Pedro, after they break up and he dates Rita. Not so much with Clara and Mateo, whenever they are in the "off" part of their Relationship Revolving Door.
  • Babies Ever After: The end of the third season has Ana going into labor, and Pedro and Rita finding out Rita is pregnant. In season 4, it is revealed that Rita gave birth to twins. Also in season 4, Cristina returns to Velvet with her daughter.
  • Berserk Button: Don't try to tell lie or hide things from Raul. Also don't insult Ana in front of Alberto.
  • Berserker Tears: Alberto after he learns he's not the father of Cristina's baby.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Of the protagonist (Rita, Ana, and Clara) and antagonist (Patricia, Barbara, Cristina) variety.
  • Blood Brothers: How Alberto and Mateo regard each other.
  • Brainy Brunette: Ana is the most talented of the seamstresses.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Alberto's reason for leaving Velvet and Spain is to save Ana's dream of being a fashion designer from being smothered at the outset by scandal. She becomes a successful designer, but other forces conspire to keep them apart for far longer than intended.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Cristina. Finding out about Alberto had a fling with Sara, was in love with Ana all along and would be leaving her, then his death and Ana's pregnancy drove her insane.
  • Break the Haughty: When Bárbara finds out about her husband's long-term affair with Patricia.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Raul. Eccentric and very innovative, but has a clear head and vision when it comes to fashion and his collections are regularly acclaimed.
    • The Wonka: Since Raul is in charge of Velvet's fashion lines, he can be interpreted as this.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Ninety percent of Pedro's problems in the first two seasons would have been resolved if he could have just told Rita he loved her without five minutes of nervous babbling.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Towards the end of the first season, there's a very cute flashback of Ana and Alberto pretending to get married when they were children. And after many ups and downs, the two finally marry onscreen in the series finale.
  • Christmas Episode: The Velvet Colección finale movie was functionally a British-style Christmas Special for both Velvet and its spinoff series.
  • Closet Gay: While Raul has flamboyant mannerisms, it is not acknowledged that he is gay until later seasons, and even then only with great trepidation. Unsurprising considering the time period.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Raul. He has some of the weirdest ideas and eccentric quirks.
  • Contrived Clumsiness: Played with with Luisa. Luisa pretends to injure herself with scissors so she doesn't have to attend to Don Francisco.
  • Country Mouse: Part of the backstory for Rita, Clara, Jonas, and Pedro.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Carlos, but he seems to get better and genuinely want Ana to be happy. He doesn't.
  • Crying Wolf: Enrique has lied, schemed, and done so many dirty tricks to try to undermine Velvet's success that no one believes him when he says that he didn't steal Raul's designs.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Ana names her son "Alberto," after his father.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: It's telling that Rita's nickname for Blanca in season 1 was "Lucifer." Due to various circumstances, Blanca becomes kinder and more tolerant as the series progresses.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Since the focus of the show is Alberto and Ana's love story, it's very easy to forget it's set in very conservative Francoist Spain.
    • During Franco's regime, the only recoginzed form of marriage was the Catholic sacrament; meaning civil unions and divorces were non-existent. This is why Alberto constantly talked about getting an annulment from Cristina in the third season. He meant ecclesiastical nullity, not civil or legal nullity.
    • It also explains why policemen are hunting down one of Raúl's friends: homosexuality was considered a "moral danger" and LGBTQ people were harassed, detained, and imprisoned well into the 1970s in Spain.
    • Rita does not even blink an eye about Pedro having had a child with his ex-girlfriend and embraces Manolito as a step-son. May not have even been a consideration the other way around.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mateo's father is a philanderer who left his family for another woman.
    • Pedro had a son, Manolito, with his ex-girlfriend Rosa-Maria, although in his defense, he was not aware of Manolito's existance until Rosa-Maria reappears in his life and introduces him.
    • Alberto, unintentionally so. Ana found out she was pregnant just after Alberto leaves Spain. He is later presumed dead and a jealous Carlos intercepts his letters so Ana never get to tell him.
  • Dug in Deeper: What started as an impulsive lie to make Rita jealous grew into a full engagement between Pedro and Rosa-Maria.
  • Dumb Blonde: Played with. Platinum blonde Patricia is not stupid, but knows when to play dumb to get her way.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Clara starts screaming when she sees a mouse. Rita does not even flinch. Eventually, Rita catches it while Luisa and Ana shriek.
  • Ethical Slut: Sara, from Airsa Airlines, and her husband seem to have an open and very happy marriage.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Lucia refused to be a mole for Oxford, a rival fashion house, and was extremely disappointed when her father turned out to be the mole.
  • Evil Aunt: None of the elder Marquezes are particularly good people, but Pilar plays this role most directly in her efforts to destroy the Galerias Velvet and prop up her own department store.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Ana gets an Important Haircut when she decides to stop living meekly and adopt a more serious image as she works to become a fashion designer. Cristina starts wearing Peek-a-Bangs after she learns the truth about Ana and Alberto and does her Face–Heel Turn. Clara and Patricia also change hairstyles, but theirs reflect the changing fashions.
  • Fake Pregnancy: Cristina fakes being pregnant in an attempt to keep Alberto from annulling their marriage in season 3. She cheats on Alberto and finally gets pregnant for real, but far too late for Alberto to plausibly be the father, so she fakes being further along than she actually is.
  • Fake Relationship: Ana and Mateo pretend to date briefly to keep Cristina from learning about Ana and Alberto's relationship. No one is happy about it.
  • Fashion Designer: A career as a successful fashion designer is one of the things Ana wants most. The other being Alberto.
  • Fashion Show: At least once a season.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Rita is the responsible one, while Clara is more flighty.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: For the female employees: Rita is Sanguine, Clara is Choleric, Luisa (and later, Lucia) is Melancholic, and Ana is Phlegmatic.
  • Gayngst: Raul experiences this acutely when he helps his old lover Toni escape Spain.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Ana and Alberto's romance is treated as this, because they've been in love since they were young and are "meant to be". On the other hand, his one-night stand with Sara is frowned upon since he was married when it happened and it's treated like he also betrayed Ana, not just Cristina.
    • Cristina's cheating, even if it was while separated and out of loneliness, is treated as "bad" because she was looking for someone to get her pregnant so she could have an excuse to hold on to Alberto.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. Luisa goes through with an abortion, after she is raped by a Velvet client.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: The show is set at a high end fashion house in the 1950s.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Played straight with Luisa. Subverted with Patricia and Lucia, who are pretty devious. Played with Rita and Clara, who are generally kind-hearted but not tremendously selfless either.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Cristina tries to set Velvet on fire in a fit of rage...yet she ends up injuring herself. Nobody else is hurt.
  • Iconic Outfit: Ana's burgundy halter dress. It is featured prominently in the opening credits and its appearance heralds a highly dramatic moment in Ana and Alberto's love story even when it is worn by Cristina.
  • Important Haircut: Ana starts with a practical ponytail, then switches to a shoulder-length bob, temporarily reverts to a practical ponytail when she gives up on being a designer, and then finally, a chic pixie cut before the start of the fourth season. It's a sign of her transition from a humble seamstress to a successful and famous fashion designer, and also that the show is now set in the 1960s.
    • Luisa also goes from a simply ponytail to a coiffed bob after becoming a famous singer as well.
  • Informed Flaw: Raul is described as having a bad temper but he is not particularly mean to anyone, while multiple other characters had gotten intro brawls and screaming matches. The only times Raul has gotten really angry are when in season 3, he angrily chews out Cristina for sabotaging the Velvet collection just because Ana was involved with it, and even that was more of a Tranquil Fury and when Humberto called him a nasty homophobic slur in Season 4.
  • In Love with the Mark: Esteban, who has been spying on Velvet for another rival fashion house, claims to be this regarding Blanca.
  • Interclass Romance: Ana, a working class seamstress, and Alberto, heir to a fashion empire, have been in love since they were children, but their class differences kept them apart for years.
    • Beta Couple Clara and Mateo have elements of this—she's from a small rural village and he's from an upper class family like Alberto, although they don't encounter as many problems.
  • Instant Birth: Just Add Water!: When Ana gives birth at the end of season 3, she goes from announcing that she has gone into labor at Mateo and Clara's wedding to giving birth by the altar all within a span of fifteen minutes.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Whatever one thinks of Cristina, she's not wrong that Alberto only married her for her money and was physically and emotionally unfaithful to her the whole time they were together.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Blanca. Very bossy and strict—but would do anything and everything for her employees.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Mateo for Clara.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Pedro and Rita are eager to become parents, but have difficulty conceiving. She later gives birth to twins.
  • Local Hangout: Pausa, a local bar.
  • Longing Look: Ubiquitous. It's easier to list which characters don't share longing looks with each other.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Cristina, to the point of spending the years between the third and fourth series in some form of psychiatric treatment.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Max claims to be Blanca's long lost son that she had given up for adoption. After he falls in love with her, he reveals the deception and begins building a very different relationship with Blanca.
  • Mean Boss: Marco when he takes over management of Velvet after Alberto disappears. To be fair, he is not making changes and being a prick just for the hell of it at first. He just has no patience for all the internal psychodramas and intrigues that could hurt the bottom line.
  • Mega Nekko and Mega Ne: Rita and Raul. Curiously, they are the only Intuitive Thinkers / Rationals in the entire show.
  • Missing Mom: Alberto's mother, Isabel, died in childbirth. Except not really, Alberto was taken from her by Rafael and she was placed in a mental institution in Cuba. She does truly die towards the end of the second season, though.
  • Moustache de Plume: Phillppe Ray for Ana.
  • My Beloved Smother: Doña Carmen, Valentin's mother.
  • Nephewism: Emilio raises Ana after her mother, his sister, dies and leaves her an orphan.
  • Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: In the first half of the series, Ana and Alberto endured a broken engagement, being left at the altar, and him being stuck in an unhappy marriage and messy divorce proceedings with someone else. Then the second half of the series happens...
  • Office Romance: Almost every character in the opening credits was in a romance with a coworker at or client of Velvet. It's more surprising when a character dates someone not connected with the store directly.
  • Offscreen Breakup: Clara and Mateo between seasons 3 and 4.
  • Only Sane Man: Emilio.
  • Open Secret: Pretty much everybody in the store knew Ana and Alberto's romantic history, except for Cristina and Raul. Obviously, no one would tell Cristina since her family's money was going to rescue the store from bankruptcy and Raul and Ana do have a multi-episode rift once he finds out. Partially he's angry because he's friends with Cristina and hates seeing her hurt, but he's also angry because not being told the truth is a Berserk Button for him.
  • Out of the Closet, Into the Fire: What forcibly happens to Toni, which is why he comes to Raul for help escaping Spain. During the interim, he literally hides in a physical closet.
  • Overworked Sleep: Ana and Alberto stayed up all night to recreate the props for a presentation that were lost by the airline. They are so exhausted that they oversleep the appointment time and almost lose the opportunity.
  • Percussive Therapy: Alberto engages in multiple forms of this when he learns that he is not the father of Cristina's child.
  • Playing Sick: Mateo pretends he has a severe cold in order to prevent Clara from coming to his house and finding out he's been letting Barbara and her daughter live with him.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Although he had been part of the show since early season 1, Asier Etxeandía (Raul) is not promoted to opening titles until season 3.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Blanca's daughter Carmen was written out in season 1 and barely mentioned since.
    • Luisa left to become a singer at the end of the second season. She accepted, returning only once during the third series-presumably so there would be closure for her and Jonas' long-distance relationship.
    • Bárbara eventually leaves Ernesto for "a man she met in the country club".
  • Race for Your Love: Ana attempts this with Alberto. She fails.
  • Rich Bitch: Patricia and Bárbara are wealthy and stuck-up, although when Patricia is forced to work at Velvet as a saleswoman as punishment and is later kicked out of Alberto's house she becomes slightly more pleasant.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: A gender inverted example. Ana is a seamstress working Velvet, and Cristina is the daughter of a prominent banker.
  • Romantic Rain: After believing Alberto dead for years, he and Ana reunite in a downpour. One big damn kiss later they finally achieve the Happy Ending that eluded them all series.
  • Runaway Bride: Ana's reaction during Alberto's attempt at a surprise wedding.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Mateo is the manly man to sensitive guys Alberto and Pedro. Notice that Mateo has a mustache, while Alberto and Pedro are always clean shaven.
  • Sexy Secretary: Clara, but over time she realizes she wants to be more than that.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Many of the male characters, unsurprisingly as the show is set in a high end fashion house.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Alberto and Patricia are half-siblings and often competed for their father's approval. In earlier seasons, Patricia often aids her mother in her schemes to wrest Velvet from Alberto's control. Even after Patricia leaves her mother's side and commits to seriously helping Velvet, Alberto does not trust her and the two still bicker when they work together.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Awkward Rita vs. suave Clara. Outgoing and kind-hearted (initially) Cristina vs. reserved and scheming Enrique. Later flip-flopped where Cristina becomes a devious schemer and Enrique tries to be The Atoner.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Ana's wardrobe becomes less 50s good girl and more sophisticated as she advances in her career.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Exaggerated and done very literally with Clara and Mateo.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Blanca and Max, Mateo and Clara, Cristina and Victor, and in season 4, Clara and Marco. More indirectly, Ana and Alberto.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: There's an undercurrent of this, when Clara's parents meet Mateo's mother and aunts.
  • Smug Snake: Enrique brags about how he can ruin someone's career in just one try. Has no qualms whatsoever about cheating on his wife, even right under her nose.
  • Spoiled Brat: Lucia Marquez. She refuses to acknowledge or greet anyone and thinks is above everyone else. It is a nightmare for Rita, Blanca, and Raul to train Lucia when she becomes a seamstress at Velvet. That is, until her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Cristina, before her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Staircase Tumble: Cristina does this to Ana to try to induce a miscarriage. She fails.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The core of the show, Ana and Alberto's romance. Played with in season 4, when the young Alberto Marquez (son of Ana and Alberto) and Cristina Ortegui (Cristina's daughter) want to be friends and Alberto even has a crush on Cristina, but their respective mothers tell them to stay away from each other.
  • Team Dad and Team Mom: Emilio and Blanca for the staff.
  • Stock Sitcom Grand Finale: While neither Velvet nor its spinoff were sitcoms, the Finale Movie for Velvet Colección had many features of the trope:
    • The Marquezes sell Galerias Velvet, thus officially sending all characters on their separate ways. Long gone characters from both series make appearances - even the dead ones return as flashbacks and ghosts. Alberto and Ana (wearing the outfits we first met them in in the first episode of Velvet), even lampshade it during the finale dance montage, claiming that this story has ended.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Raul and Ana during their mid-season 3 rift. However, no matter how angry Raul was at Ana, he always respected her talent as a designer and was able to work with her to produce the Day & Night Collection.
  • The Fashionista: Multiple characters, unsurprisingly as the show is set at a high end fashion house.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Clara and Rita are a textbook example.
  • The Mole: Estaban. Poor Blanca.
  • The One That Got Away: Isabel, for Emilio although they are briefly reunited.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Mateo takes pity on Barbara and invites her and her infant daughter to stay at his house until she finds her own place after she separates from Enrique. Barbara spends the next several episodes making herself at home and guilt-tripping Mateo whenever he tries to kick her out. Then there is the matter of his lie to Clara about the situation.
  • The Topic of Cancer: Rita is diagnosed with breast cancer in season 4.
  • Time Skip: There's a five year jump between the third and fourth season.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Downplayed, given the time and place. But Rita is outspoken, bold, not afraid of rodents, and very awkward when it comes to romantic relationships. Contrast with the more emotionally savvy Ana and her flirty sister Clara.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Cristina, and how!
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Barbara encourages Cristina's worst impulses and Enrique calls her out on it.
  • Up Marketing: An undercurrent throughout the series is the belief that haute couture is for the upper classes and the resistance from those in the industry to market to middle and working class people. One high end designer refuses to make a dress for Rita because she's just a seamstress, and Marco is against Ana's idea of having Velvet sell a prêt-à-porter fashion line because he thinks it will chase the store's high end clientele away.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cristina suffers this after Alberto learns he's not the father of her baby and tells the whole story to the press.
  • Villainous Friendship: Barbara may be a devious, snobby troublemaker but she's the only one who is willing to point out the obvious regarding Ana and Alberto to Cristina. And when Cristina's marriage falls apart, Barbara is the only one who is wholeheartedly on Cristina's side. Cristina reciprocates by fully supporting Barbara against her husband Enrique, even though Enrique is Cristina's brother.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Alberto favors these.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Gloria for Alberto.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Lucia does not show up in the fourth season at all nor is she mentioned.
  • Working with the Ex: For Ana, this is more a case of for, at least until she is promoted to in-house fashion designer in the second season.
    • When Mateo comes back to Galerías Velvet in the fourth season, Clara faces working with him again.

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