You don’t see this everyday, the artists and their craft. We like to promote people like this, their dreams, their habits, their accomplishments, especially when it’s related to Romania. This is how Romanian Blouse started, from a dream, which eventually became a reality. But I am not going to tell you about it, better let our new friend Anda Ene to share on her own how this project came to be.
The Romanian Blouse workshop was born from a desire and passion that i had for the spectacular and unique, the admiration for hand-made crafts, down to the very last details. It’s basically pure pride; pride that I was born a Romanian, that I have Romanian blood in my DNA, willing to carry this tradition forward, showing others what we inherited, what our culture is, where do we come from.
Before even realizing that I want to contribute to saving and preserving this wonderful piece of culture, and before I joined the others that share the same passion as me, carrying the tradition forward, there was a specific need on my behalf as well; it all started in 2012, when I was looking for a wedding gift for a relative that was getting married to a foreigner and together they were preparing to move out and live in another country. I remember thinking about the perfect gift, what I can buy, but I had no idea, it seemed like all the gifts I could find were just plain ordinary and lacked any kind of unique or special significance. Then I remembered about our traditional Romanian blouse (called “ie” in Romanian) and realized it would be the perfect gift; but while searching around, I just couldn’t find one that I really liked (most of them were old, worn-out, or just plain dull). It really bothered me that it became really hard to find the perfect ie, a new one, a beautiful and unique one.
But I did eventually find one beautifully crafted ie, and it was new as well, and let me tell you that the bride could have not been happier. The relatives from Switzerland that attended the wedding were admiring this blouse, astonished by how beautiful it looked. I felt really good about it, and I was happy that I found something special, an inspired present from the heart, but out of all that, I though kept circling my head, as to how hard it is to find something like this.
Once I got the hang of it, I started collecting old piece of traditional clothing, basically researching what’s out there, and I got to a point where I was running out of space in my house; I literally had no more space where to store them. I realized how much I loved these items, how excited I was when going to a fair in looking for these treasures, how happy I was bringing them home, washing them, trying to basically recondition them, even the ones that seemed unsalvageable.
Then I figured, why not to these ourselves, inspire or even copy some of the old models and try designing them as close as we can to their original production values, based on the old ways. I looked throughout the country, craftsmen, people with open minds that were willing to go past the commercial ie’s, people that were interested in the traditional blouses; and I eventually found some lovely people that were willing to give it a go. It is rather complicated to duplicate or replicate old models, some sewing techniques are now long gone and forgotten, the cloth itself is not the same as it used to be and so on. Doing this type of clothing cannot be accomplished by everyone, it takes certain skill and patience.
The workshop is, all around the country, sort of speak, but the collection of ie’s can be seen on our website, and the clothes can even be tried on in our small showroom, on Aleea Alexandru nr. 10.
In this business, I always realize that the ones that choose to give an ie as a gift, always want something more special, more personal, they want it to be something unique. When you purchase one ie, you also receive the following message/feeling: “you’re special, you’re one of a kind, and I want to offer you this gift that suits all of your qualities.”
On the other hand, I don’t think I ever heard a Romanian lady not wanting a new ie, even though she might have others in her wardrobe; she wants another model, it creates some sort of addiction. About the foreign ladies, what can I say, they are absolutely hooked, fascinated by their beauty, their elegance, their diversity, on what a pleasure it is to wear something like this. It’s the ideal gift.
And because you are our favorite readers, let us know if you’re on the market for a new ie and we’ll offer a discount, courtesy of Romanian Blouse.