ASUNCIÓN Y GRETA
Photos: Yuichi Kimura
"I was a little girl when the war started, we lived near the Hospital Clínico in Madrid. So when they started bombing Madrid, we were in a very conflictive area where on one side were the nationalists and on the other the reds. So my father used to take us to the basement of the Hospital Clínico when they were bombing. Then we had a dog that always accompanied us when he took us there, my father would return home to get more brothers and the dog would follow him until he saw that we were all together, the dog wouldn't leave him. He always accompanied him to look for those who were missing. Dogs are very loyal and very kind".
Who are you and where are you from?
I am Asunción Álvarez, I am from Madrid. I am 93 years old and I am very well. I am the grandmother of 15 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Who is your dog/s?
My dog is Greta, we found her lost and very ill, we took care of her and now she is doing great. She barks a lot, as soon as a stranger comes and without knowing him, too. But she is very good.
What are you passionate about?
Well, I love being with all my family, of which there are many and I love them all very much. I like to be with them all the time.
"I like to combine colours, what happens is that I don't have much taste in combining colours. There are times when some of my daughters say to me: "Mum, take that thing off, it doesn't suit you at all". I find it more difficult to combine colours, but I have some good advisors".
Who is your muse/s or life referent/s?
My children are the ones who inspire me, I have very good children who take great care of their family. And they are the ones who make me live this well.
What is the way you like to express yourself?
Sewing. We always sewed at home, especially my eldest sister. We all sewed, I also embroidered. When I separated I started working in an upholstery workshop, I've been working in an upholstery workshop for twenty-something years. Thanks to that and the help of all my children, we have all managed to get ahead. Although it was a lot of work, my children always helped me, one of them always came with me to help me.
There is something that you don't care a hoot?
I don't give a damn about politics. I separated from my husband, I went to live with my 6 children. I worked sewing for an upholstery company and I had a lot of work. My children have always helped me a lot and we have all managed to get ahead.
The most indomitable moment or situation of your life?
My separation was the most indomitable thing in my life. I didn't feel any social pressure. Because I didn't give a damn about what people thought. I knew what was happening to me. But what people thought didn't matter to me at all. I made the decision alone and all my children supported me and said yes and I separated. And then I had a good relationship with my ex-husband because when he was alone and he got ill... I have a flat just opposite mine, I moved him there so he wouldn't be alone. I took care of him until he died. So I have a very, very clear conscience about that..
What are the personal everyday objects or items of clothing that you value the most? How do they relate to your personal expression?
When the war started, our family moved to Becerril. But my parents stayed behind to look after the house throughout the war. When the war was over and they came back, they gave him this bowl, which must be very old. It is a bowl that is hand painted with a Chinese theme. It is more than 100 years old.
How does colour play a role in your daily life?
I like to combine colours, what happens is that I don't have much taste in combining colours. There are times when some of my daughters say to me: "Mum, take that off, it doesn't suit you at all". I find it more difficult to combine colours, but I have some good advisors.
If your dog were a colour, what colour do you think it would be?
Your dog's most indomitable moment or situation?
The day she got lost in the forest, we spent a whole day looking for Greta. All my children were looking for Greta. We even took her a bed so that if she saw it, she could smell it and stay there, but she wasn't there. One of my daughters and her husband left very early in the morning, asking all the cars that passed by if they had seen Greta. And then one of the men in the car said: "Isn't it the one I'm carrying here? I found her. And it was her. We were so happy that we all went crazy. You can't imagine, it seemed like she was so happy when she saw us...
What is the first anecdote you remember with a dog?
I was a little girl when the war started, we lived near the Hospital Clínico in Madrid. So when they started bombing Madrid, we were in an area that was very conflictive, with the nationalists on one side and the republicans on the other. My father used to take us to the basement of the Hospital Clínico when they were bombing. Then we had a dog that always accompanied us when he took us there, my father would go back home to get more brothers and the dog would follow him until he saw that we were all together, the dog wouldn't leave his side. He always accompanied him to look for those who were missing. Dogs are very loyal and very kind.
Collar or harness? What are the must-have accessories you have for your dog?
I like the collars better, although he is safer with a harness. But the collars are so beautiful that I like the collars better.
What is your favourite combination with the Indomito's pieces?
Red with nude straps.