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FASHION FROM ABROAD: Traditional Clothing with an Untraditional Twist

June 17th, 2015 at 2:10am

Our contemporary ages come with novel interpretations of traditional styles. I spotted one such modern twist on this Fashionista, who playfully added personality to a traditional Romanian sartorial staple. The Romanian “peasant blouse,” also called “ie,” is a folkloric item much loved by Romanians. The blouse has a long history and its makers are experts who carefully embroider it by hand with intricate designs. In Romania, it is often worn as part of the traditional female costume, accompanied by an artfully made skirt, a wide leather belt called “brâu” and a colorful apron, or “catrință.”

National pride aside, the “ie” has been adopted around the world and renown designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford and John Galliano featured it in their past collections. While wearing it as part of a costume has a special national charm, adding it to modern staples such as dark wash jeans, modern platforms and a black leather jacket is a sure bet to make it stand out within the context of present-day fashion.

My grandmother describes the “ie” as “youthful and unique” and it is easily understandable why. Reminiscing upon the days when she was wearing the blouse to traditional ceremonies beautified by dance and laughter, she points out that through its making, each blouse is unique in light of its hand-made embroidery and the particular situation it was acquired. Many blouses are family heritage or are valuable gifts from loved ones.

Captured: This Fashionista is an Architecture student who was surprised at a local mall in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.