Romanian style in French fashion

Philippe Guilet

French designer Philippe Guilet, who has worked with the likes of Jean-Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld, has created a collection inspired by Romania's ancient peasant traditions and modern urban jungle. His "Prejudice" collection showcases in Paris this year.

Beyond fashion, Guilet aims to present a more beautiful Romania, a country whose image is blighted in France and elsewhere by images of aggressive beggars, social welfare scroungers and computer hackers.

The collection, which premiered at the French embassy in November 2011, thrilled Romanians, leaving some in tears over the spectacle of their humble village crafts being whipped up into world-class couture.

Guilet shared the stage with other designers, united in the theme of celebrating Romanian culture.

The collection features a chiffon-lined women's suit covered in tufts of wood which evoke a Transylvanian roof and a figure-hugging dress embroidered with an applique design resembling a colorful Romanian Easter egg.
Underprivileged Gypsies crafted metal bracelets from tin drainpipes, while Romanian shoe designer Mihaela Glavan created shoes and boots with heels that are a miniature of sculptor Constantin Brancusi's most famous sculpture, the "Endless column."

Some of the clothes were simply breathtaking in their intricacy, a core element in Romanian artisan work.
A Greek-style column dress, weeks in the making, was a vision of 198 pearly grey-green jersey silk ribbons, inspired by the River Danube which runs through Romania.


Pounds of beads, which take hours to assemble and are a staple of Romanian rural arts, were used tapestry-like in evening dresses, matador jackets and even a sweat shirt, for a modern urban twist.




Alireza Jahani - Black doesn't mean Obscurity

   Since when you start to paint and how you discover your calling for painting?

I began painting from childhood and painting was always considered a part of my life but after finishing college and with a backpack full of  feel savings, I go into a community that I had no place to supply my works and forced into silence.

Here again I found that the only way out of silence is painting for me. After a series of paintings influenced by personal beliefs with the introduction  of one family members I met with my professors Nosratollah Moslemyan and since the beginning  of this acquaintance delivered me from the trap of self-imposed and hand over from my just ideological paintings slowly and teached me with his recommendations that how to show my emotions with art.


How do you choose your themes? What is your favourite theme? What inspire you?

Sometimes I only just living for weeks but I try to have impressive and deep conception from events surrounding me. Sometimes just a conversation in a French film is an idea for me to painting. My favorite subject as all know is woman and the whole humanity and its bottlenecks and capacities.

One women"


What are the symbols of your work? What would you try to transmit to the public through your paintings?

My work symbols are mostly women and men in pain from my homeland Iran. Sometime my symbol is a young girl sometime a crazy woman, sometime a dead man on the cold soil or a girl with great expectations but with regret in her soul. My symbols are the women that following to freedom. It’s the woman who pulled wronged but still growing like a phoenix from ashes.


Why do you use so much black?

Black color to me is symptoms of frustration, oppression and suffering inside from a super closed society where that head down to oppression known as a value to the system. In my work black known as infestation, bad to the humanity, whatever even in black exist light.


"Vicious circle"

What are the constraints of an artist from your point of view?
Note that I am among the general population and in connection with the lower classes of my society and I felt the pain of this grade category with all my person. Woman for me is a symbol of stood up and rebellion and not only as a symbol of sense, but as a semi-lost exist in community that surely the subtlety and reflection and standing.


In my opinion and according to my taught, the value and validity of a painting is to express inner feelings of the artist and experienced of his life.


The artist can provide an accurate comparison between self and society to achieve, only thinking about art free of any limitations and restrictions governing and taste of society.

"The living soil"

What does an artist need to become famous? Is it enough talent?

In the history of art many talents was not recognized in their lifetime. But I have to follow the art without any despair and with my tendency to humanity and biological experienced. Always I am looking for contact with art world and from my experience using it to present my work and performance to the world.

Short biography:
I was born in 1980 in the port city of Anzali. I was first child of my family and from childhood my mother with books, crayons and drawing papers helped me a lot. She played a big role in my tendency to booking and painting from early ages. From my childhood, like most of my generation, I have memories of the war and those situations. In school time I was a smart student and I had always high marks although the lesson for me even in college time was of secondary importance after, my books. I success in my education and I was accepted in civil engineering at the university and graduated after 5 years. Studies continued on my country's political past and I was wavering between political activity or expression with my art but by thinking I chose art for the expression of mine and found my salvation way in art. I had all my past that followed and unknown way to future but a chance to introduction with my stand Mr. Nosratollah Moslemyan caused to understanding not only modern painting but also the modern thinking and getting rid of outdated traditions trap. I can honestly say that I was born again.

Vitalie Butescu - Painter of Atmosphere

Tell us about your beginnings in art…
I was born in Soviet Union, in small town of 17,000 inhabitants from Moldavia Republic, named Stefan Voda. When I was 10 years old, I had the chance to follow some art courses, extra school. In that time, some Russians specialized in art come to our town looking for talented children. They set up an Art School where I attend about 3 hours weekly for some years. These were my first professors and from them I learnt that I can make a living from art and because I love to paint, I decided I must continue on this way.
   "Italian Church"

          "Stavropoleos Monastery"

You are graduated in Art Faculty from Cluj, Romania. How did you get in Romania?
My town was 60 km far away from Odessa. Every studying child used to follow Odessa courses. My first art teachers advised me to follow a High School in Romanian language and not go Odessa, which is what I did. My style was full of colour different from the Russian School. After, I prepared myself for Art University from Saint Petersburg, but instead of this, I went Romania thank to 1989’s Romanian Revolution and  some scholarships accorded by the Romanian State to Moldavians starting with 90’s. I chose Cluj city for my studies. 

“Traditional house”

“Traditional house”

You stayed almost 10 years in London. How it was the English experience from artistic point ?
In London I was not in the same line with the people from there because I just had to gain money for living. There was not time for carelessly artistic life. I had only to work to cover my expenses. So, it could not influence me too much. Anyway, I am too stubborn to be influenced.  Since then, I only travel in Europe or other continents and I prefer to live in Romania. 


"Mogosoaia Palace - winter"

What inspire you?
Everything around me inspire me: from the smell of the morning coffee, to people from the street, friends, my workshop, until the evening spend with my family. From an artist 5% is talent, the rest is work and from a painting 20% is inspiration and the rest is  reason, the theme. 

“Military Circle”

"Manuc's Inn"

How do you choose your themes?
I don’t have a special criteria. It is about if I like it or not. For example the harlequins: I paint the first one when I was 16 years old as I wanted to gain more money and I succeeded. Since then I haven’t give up to this theme. The harlequins are characters who can transmit emotions. I prepare a big project with harlequins in the future. 



Do you have favorite paintings?
I have a private collection with some of my peak works. I appreciate them even now. I have some nice works from 20 years ago. These paintings represent me from different periods and shows how I defined myself as a painter.  

    “View from Balcic”

“View from Balcic”

I like very much to paint, I can say that the painting is a hobby for me because I enjoy very much doing it. For example, I liked very much Balcic which was an good to be explored realm, so I painted over 200 paints with landscapes from Balcic. 

  “View from Balcic”

  “Master of hearts”

“View from Balcic”

"Dusk with mosque"

"Houses from Balcic hill"

"Roofs at Balcic"


Did the painter Bogdan Pietris influence you in any way ?
Yes, he was honest and sincere with me. I will always respect  him. Even we had  meet  rare I consider him my friend. He is a lonely wolf as me. I learned from him plain-air. 

  “Cotroceni Palace”

“Mogosoaia Palace”

“Bridge from Cismigiu”

“Bear cart”

What do you transmit through your paintings?
A state of mind or a state of things. Spring time looks different from a winter time. Also, the same theme looks different if it is painted in the spring from the winter or afternoon from evening. The works painted in plain-air has a different energy and look from those painted in workshop. All these means state of things.
I like to paint in plain-air, but I use to finish my works in the workshop because the lights are different. After all, the public keeps the paintings in the house, so these must be done accordingly with the interior light.

“Still life”


  “Danube Delta “

An important thing is to know when to stop. If you keep on painting on the same paint, you can influence the light, the colour and it will not remain the same them, atmosphere or emotion. Many people tell me that my works are attractive, even if they are not classical. For example, a day light paint means cold colours, mine are warm.

“House form Bucharest"

  “Prince Nicolae’s Villa”

Do you have any regret ?
I wish to be more beautiful. Beside this, I don’t have any regret.  





Dr. Nour Foundation for Art and Heritage organized in 2010 a camp at Malta “Romanian Mona Lisa”. Vitalie Butescu was one of the artists selected to participate. You can admire what come out from this hands!

"Romanian Mona Lisa"
DNFAH collection

"Romanian Mona Lisa", version
DNFAH collection

"Church in Malta"
DNFAH collection

Personal Exhibitions
- 1997 september - "Art" Gallery, Timisoara
- 1997 december – The University Gallery University , Cluj Napoca
- 1998 december - Art Gallery, Timisoara
- 2005 february - Romanian National Committee pentru UNESCO
- 2005 may -  FRACCU, Paris - France
- 2006 february –Romanian National Committee for UNESCO
- 2006 september - Gallery Silva Busteni
- 2006 nov.-dec. - City Gallery, Botosani
- 2007 february - ArtJazzClub Bucharest
- 2007 martch - Gallery Artis, Bucharest
- 2007 july - Gallery Artis, National Museum Olt, Slatina
- 2007 october - Ambasad SUA at Chisinau, Rep. Moldova
- 2008 august – exhibitional  space ACVAL, Ploiesti
- 2008 october -  Artis Gallery, National Museum Olt, Slatina
- 2008 december -  Atelier Gallery Hanul cu Tei, Bucharest
- 2009 march -  Ana Gallery, Bucharest
- 2009 march -  Cultural Centre Habitus, Sibiu
- 2009 may-june - Elite Art Gallery, Bucharest
- 2009 september -  Bucharest Mayorlaty
- 2009 oct-dec - Ceainaria Greentea, Bucuresti
- 2009 november -  Artis Gallery, National Museum Olt, Slatina
- 2009 december – Romanian Atheneum
- 2010 february - Galateca, BCU Bucharest
- 2010 june – Art Museum  Prahova "Ion Ionescu Quintus"
-2010 december Brâncusi Hall,  Parlament Palace
-2011 february -  Art Gallery of  Bucharest
-2011 march – Artis Gallery,  National Museum Olt, Slatina
-2011 april - Hall  Romanian Atheneum
-2011 september -  SCITART Gallery Bucharest
-2011 december - U Art Gallery Bucharest

Works in private collections from Romania, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Hungary, Grece, Slovenia, Japan, Great Britain, USA, also in Contemporary Art Museums from  Bucharest, Aiud, Medgidia, Constanta, Slatina.

N.B. Some of the works displayed above are for sale. If you want details about the painter and his paintings, please use email/telephone mentioned in Contact section.