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.




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