Tourism, in its most profound form, means knowledge. We learn about ourselves coming into contact with new people, new places and new experiences. We explore countries, trying to understand cultures, we discover the gastronomic, artistic, historical and architectural aspects of a country. We come to know people by their ideas, by the experiences they generate while interacting with us, by the things and items coming out of their hands or by the projects that animate them.
Today we will show you Romania by a couple of beautiful projects, conceived and executed by Romanians proud of their country, projects which represent the creation and manufacture of items of Romanian design. Each of these products can be a gift, both during the holidays, upon returning home after a holiday in Romania, as well as in any other day of the year without any special meaning.
- The Romanian BLOUSE
Romanians are so proud of their traditional blouse called “IE” that they dedicated it a day of the year, which they turned into a national holiday. Thus, starting with 2013, on June 24th, Midsummer Day, each year the universal day of the blouse is celebrated in over 50 countries on six continents. This holiday was made possible by the project entitled La Blouse Roumaine, the first community dedicated to the BLOUSE, a symbol of Romanian identity culture. Integrated in modern urban outfits, worn in the Romanian villages on holidays, at traditional weddings or even celebrated and reinterpreted by major international fashion designers, the genuine blouse is handmade, embroidered or sewn by crafty hands, made of natural materials such as flax, cotton or silk voile. It can take the shape of a shirt – for women, men and children – or dress, it can be manufactured nowadays, inherited from grandma or found in a hope box at the countryside from 100 years ago and impeccably restored. How it looks and where you can find it: Popular costumes, Blouse flowers, Museum of the Romanian Peasant in Bucharest (temporary shows or Romanian traditional blouses).
A Romanian clothing designed which reinterprets the BLOUSE in her collections is Valentina Vidrascu. The silver BLOUSE she created is extremely beautiful, same as the white Pearl dress and also the entire Christmas special edition.
Photo source: Valentina Vidrascu
- Traditional Romanian motives integrated in contemporaneous models of bags and purses
The founders of project are a father and son. The father is passionate about the wood processing art, and the son is into design. BY creating unique bags, surprisingly combining wood and leather, they tell stories about the return to essence of some forgotten Romanian traditions.
Photo Source: Atelier Lemnia
Folklore Collection is a collection of a couple of bags showing traditional Romanian motives, such as the Lemnia Hora Bag – bag made of oak wood and natural leather, showing the traditional Romanian motive of the round dance. It is handmade from a single wood piece processed to achieve this shape, which provides both an interesting and natural aspect as well as excellent durability in time. Esthetical, functional and durable, this bag can cross generations, it can tell stories and can be left as inheritance.
The Lemnia story started in 2014, and today a bag made by this brand is shown at the Museum of Bags in Amsterdam, the biggest museum in the world in this field.
Who is Cosanzeana? In a traditional Romanian fairytale, Cosanzeana is a young beautiful girl with long blonde hair, hard-working, talented, cheerful and good-natured. In reality, Cosanzeana can be any of us – it is our feminine side, regardless of the age, color or length of our hair. It is what makes us create, take one thing and turn it into something beautiful and useful. It is what makes us give, help and protect.
Photo Source: Cosanzeana
In a small chest, Cosanzeana has prepared for us everything we need to acquire a unique accessory, made in peace of mind and with love, becoming handy and skillful: a perforated wooden disk (or several), necessary instruments (thread, needle), a brochure of models and some precious instructions. Cosanzeana’s chest is adequate both for children and women, as well as for men passionate about esthetics, natural materials, searching for joy in handcrafts requiring patience and deftness.
Photo Source: Cosanzeana
Meșteshukar Butiq is a project which supports the active revaluation of traditional Roma crafts. The project started as a campaign to get acquainted with the Roma people by their work, and currently it succeed to bring a fresh vision on the Roma handcrafts and to relaunch traditional products and items with a contemporaneous design.
Fascinated by the work of Roma artisans, first a couple of Austrian and Swedish designers, then several Romanian designers of items visited them in their homes, workshops and courtyards where they were working, in order to closely interact with them. The result made it to the catwalks of the Vienna Design Week, Stockholm Design Week and, later, Bucharest Design Week.
Photo Source: Meșteshukar
Among the products that were proposed there are clothing items and accessories, household items and interior decorations: wooden gypsy chairs, glasses, trays, copper gravy boats, coffee pots and long spoon, copper-made lighting items.
Photo Source: Meșteshukar
These are only some of the design projects among the tens of projects recommending Romania. You can take them in your luggage upon returning home, as unique stories, you can look at them from afar or you can ask questions and find out about many others. Because a destination is more than a sum of tourist attractions, it represents a multitude of stories and the people that created them, regardless of the shape they are delivered to us.