UAD GALA 2016: THE NIGHT WHEN CREATIVITY SAVED THE WORLD

Over the years The UAD Gala has established itself as a platform whose aim is to promote young graduates of the UAD Department of Fashion Design. Through the graduates’ fashion show, which involves very complex logistics, innovative collections are presented to specialists and representatives of the creative industries. The collections always try to be relevant for the 21st century fashion landscape, through themes that are focused on specific issues of contemporary lifestyle, a thorough study of volumetries and clothing morphologies generating novel interventions on textile surfaces, the relationship between body and garment, and an elaborate styling.

The implication of the Department of Fashion Design in the educational process of their students is rewarded by their professional achievements. Thanks to scholarship programs, the UAD students were able to apply and be accepted in internships at international brands such as: Ann Demeulemeester, Craig Green, Ann Sophie BACK, Nasir Mazhar, BLESS, Erdem, Marios Schwab, Meadham Kirchhoff, Barbara i Gongini, Ashish, Michael Sontag, HAAL, H&M. Two of last year’s Gala graduates have obtained important results: Andreea Castrase now works for the department of creation at H&M, and Ancuta Sarca was one of the finalists of the international competition, Designer for Tomorrow.

This year’s collections were living proof of the educational and professional development that takes place within the Department of Fashion Design. With the didactical support of Elena Basso Stanescu, Lucian Broscatean, and Anca Pia Rusan, the students designed versatile, functional, and modern collections. There were collections that stood out immediately, and collections that were more subtle in their artistic approach. But each and every one of the 27 collections had something particular, something creative, and personal. The 10 collections I chose to analyze represented, for me personally, aspects of the fashion universe that interest me. The way they were portrayed in these collections offered me the chance to explore those aspects from a different perspective.

RAMONA MANGHIUC

Ramona finds inspiration in Romania’s recent past, and delivers a collection that is nostalgic in a playful manner. During the communist years, the uniform played an important part in people’s lives. From kindergarten, until employment, the uniform gave its wearer a social identity. Ramona Manghiuc reinvents the notion of the uniform by playing with its characteristics. She uses simple shapes, primary colors (referencing the colors of the Romanian flag) in order to orchestrate contemporary ensembles that revolt against an oppressive system, whose days are over, but whose cultural repercussions are still present. The styling of the collection uses symbols of bravery, badges of honor which she transforms in simple embellishments, esthetical objects without any historical meaning for those that did not live during the communist years. Even the title of the collection speaks of a loss of meaning, a blissful historical amnesia: Ceau, an abbreviation of the fearful communist leader’s name, becomes a cordial form of greeting.

Ramona Manghiuc

BOGDAN DRUTA

Bogdan Druta’s revolt is also connected to the idea of identity, but in his case it is a physical, not a social one. He seeks freedom in constraint, acceptance in discrimination, vulnerability in intolerance. The designer’s unisex rendering of shapes reveals his desire to blur the physical boundaries between sexes. The garment’s earthly tones represent his visual statement against contrasts. His protest is a subtle one, but his clothes are powerful enough the stand alone.

Bogdan Druta

LILIANA TIMIS

The road to self-discovery is paved with ambiguity. Liliana Timis invites us on her personal journey of identitary exploration. Her monochromatic visual composition is an introspect reflection on the concepts of androgyny, identity, and the ambiguity of such concepts. The rigid surfaces of the black garments are invaded by unexpected transparences. The play on surfaces and textures is sometimes intriguing, and the consistent styling communicates harmoniously with the musical arrangement of the collection, Bernard Herrmann’s composition for Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Liliana-Timis

ADRIANA TIMOFTI

One has to re-tie the knots with tradition from time to time, and Adriana Timofti felt this need, so she transformed it into a subtle reinterpretation of ethnicity through her collection. By using traditional symbols, she designed well-tailored minimal pieces that evoke an archaic world in such a way that it looks contemporary. Her combination of different textures, bound by zippers, and accessorized with geometric- shaped designer objects seemed to be a smart approach to the symbolic signification of the knot.

Adriana Timofti

NICOLETA BOTNARU

The auditive enhancer that first caught my attention, a track from Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut soundtrack,  was part of Nicoleta’s device to lure us into a world of utopia, decadence, narcissism, and illusions, a world that might seem a little too similar to the world of fashion. Her well-tailored garments are not simple pieces of clothing, but personal statements of opulence and social status. They are revealing the body, but are protecting the wearer by communicating her belonging to a privileged group. Though the intangibility is only a mask, the frailty of what’s behind it is always intriguing.

Nicoleta Botnaru

ANA MARIA PUT

Anamaria Put delivered a clean and functional collection, composed of desirable modern pieces. The woman who would wear her designs, her future client, surely is someone who knows who she is, she wants her clothes to be versatile, and offer her freedom of movement. She likes her clothes to be subtle in order to enhance her personal aura of mystery. She is a traveler, collecting new meanings in each journey she takes, as her clothes do.

Ana Put

CARLA PUT

An “all black” collection is mistakenly considered by some as something easy and safe. A monochromatic collection can become repetitive, boring and pretentious really fast. But not Carla’s collection. Her non-color statement is emotional, bearing something eerie within it. The smartly placed brooches, and necklaces makes one think of ritualic objects which, if positioned accordingly, have the ability to offer access to its wearer into an imaginary space, a supernatural realm where the conscious intertwines with the subconscious. But despite this visual metaphor, the clothes are strong enough to function on their own. They are well tailored, wearable, and functional.

Carla Put

LUIS DRAJAN

In our present times, the existence of subcultures is a subject up for debate. The short life of trends, the uncontrollable desire for what’s new, and a predisposition for scrolling through social groups makes the process of consolidating a subculture almost impossible. If today’s culture is focused on individuality, then maybe the subculture that derives from it is that of an individualism of excesses. Its members are those who cultivate a lifestyle of hedonistic excesses. Their weapon of choice is narcissism. Luis Drajan’s collection offers us a glimpse into such a subculture. The clothes that he designs may well function as uniforms for the sympathizers of a radical narcissism. Always ready for party, seeking attention through self-irony, they prefer to detach themselves from reality and live their augmented lives within online social platform. The “nostril bleeders” as the designer nicknames them are aware of their addiction, and because they expose it in such a detached manner, they make us uncomfortable, and question our own hidden addictions.

Luis Drajan

SABINA POP

Sabina Pop’s collection is inspired by women who have influenced the art world. Artists such as Judith Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, and Vanessa Beecroft were her muses, their art functioning as background for Sabina’s exploration of the idea of emancipation. Throughout her collection she experiments with different patterns, textures, in a colorful juxtaposition. The woman she envisions finds liberation in reappropriation. The way she uses color blocks and geometries communicates, at a visual level, the daring nature of the wearer and her preference for a modern wardrobe. Like her muses, who succeeded in liberating themselves through their art, Sabina offers us the possibility to dare and experiment with our wardrobein a liberating manner.

Sabina Pop

EMESE BAKO

Like your favorite scene from a movie, or a song that you like so much you play it on repeat for two days, a memorable fashion collection haunts you. It sticks to your retina and travels with you until it becomes a memory, and a benchmark for future aesthetical references. But like memory, fashion can sometimes play tricks on you. Because it is such a powerfully visual medium, in many cases the image can be more powerful than the message, but not in the case of Emese Bako’s collection. Her inspiration comes from the idea that “attitude becomes form”. Her aesthetical analysis of this idea becomes an in-depth exploration of the transformation of concept into object. For her, fashion is a trickster, the crystal embellishments she applies on the garments play with our perception, their movement and sparkle seduce us, and trigger our imagination. The purple velvet used in some of the pieces induces a dreaming state, and the shiny surfaces, elegantly reveal the transparencies. Her understanding of fashion is mature because her designs are not artistic experimentation with form; they are functional objects of desire. Together with the styling of the collection and the haunting soundtrack (Skeeter Davis – The End of the World), Emese Bako’s collection truly stands out.

Emese Bako

Our present is governed by rupture. It exists in the enormous differences between social classes, in financial inequalities between countries, in the way media communicates different events, in the way we communicate with each other. Current socio-political events force us to find ways of escaping reality, hoping that this way all that’s bad will go away. But nothing good can ever come out of such an approach. What we can do is find ways of fighting against these ruptured times. Together, with their own means, within the walls of the University of Art and Design from Cluj-Napoca, the department of Fashion Design, composed of students and their professors managed to find the perfect “weapon” for fighting against troubled times: creativity.  Fashion is not a secluded domain; it does not rely on solitary elements, it is dependent on communication, collaboration, and interdisciplinarity. It may not solve diplomatic conflicts (although I’m sure that it helps in some ways), or stop world hunger, but it will keep on asking questions and try finding answers through creativity.

Photo credit: Emil Costrut, powered by QSmile, Claudia Corega

 

Advertisements

10 Ingredients for a New Generation of Designers

The current state of fashion was described by some as overabundant, redundant, and obsolete in a way. These words weigh heavy on the designers and challenge them to come up with a plan to resuscitate the curiosity and excitement of the fashion crowd. Some have focused on the story, some on the heritage, some on innovation, some on product. A similar mood and a desire to refresh the “current state of fashion affairs” was felt during this year’s UAD Gala, an event celebrating its 21st edition. From the unconventional venue where the event was held, to the soundtrack of each collection, every little detail was smartly orchestrated and managed to infuse a sense of optimism and ease.

26 collections belonging to this year’s graduate students of the Fashion Design department walked down the catwalk, a catwalk specially designed for the event on the halls of the modern Sala Polivalenta in Cluj-Napoca. The BA collections were coordinated by Prof.Univ.Phd. Elena Basso Stănescu and Lect.Univ.Phd. Lucian Broscățean, while the MA collections were coordinated by Prof.Univ.Phd. Elena Basso Stănescu and Prof.Univ.Phd. Anca Pia Rusan.

As in every year since I’ve been attending the UAD Gala as fashion aficionado, supporter of the event, or as member of the Henkel jury (from which I had the pleasure of taking part this year), my first reaction after watching the collections was one of admiration towards the talent of the graduate designers, but also towards the collective involvement of those who guide, and support their talent. What follows next is a period of a few days in which I revisit my first impressions of each collection. I look at the photos, I read my notes, I try to make up stories that can narrate what some of the collections managed to convey. But this year, thinking about what I told you at the beginning of the article, I felt the need to try a new approach and think of the “ingredients” that made this year’s UAD Gala an invigorating event.

  1. Optimism

Aliz Simon – Nouvelle Ere

Mixing with ease the minimalism of colour combinations and experimentation with shapes, Aliz Simon managed to portray a personal view of a new age, as the title of the collection announces. The association of hard and soft materials reveals a modern type of femininity. The woman she envisions belongs to present times, is not afraid to experiment, and manages to maintain her innocence through a sophisticated play on details. Her optimism and wits when it comes to the reinterpretation of symbols and sophistication convinced me and the other members of the Henkel jury to reward her with the Perwoll Young Designers Award.

2 - Aliz Simon-5

2 - Aliz Simon-1

2 - Aliz Simon-2

2 - Aliz Simon-3

2 - Aliz Simon-4

  1. Interdisciplinarity

Diana Ilea – Untitled

Blurring the lines between art and fashion, Diana Ilea plays with the concept of abstraction. Inspired by modern art, her collection reflects the search for meaning through simplicity. The minimalist lines of the garments are destabilized by violent strokes of red and abstract insertions of ‘untitled” doodles. The association of materialities infuse energy into the designs.

4 - Diana Ilea-5

4 - Diana Ilea-1

4 - Diana Ilea-2

4 - Diana Ilea-3

4 - Diana Ilea-4

  1. References

Linda Szabo – Parallels

Referencing the feminine lines characteristic of Dior’s “new look” and combining them with the hardness of elements belonging to military apparel, Linda Szabo’s collection reveals her interest in the historical investigation of fashion. The softness of the colour pallet is contrasted by the toughness of the harnesses, the asymmetric tailoring, and the wadding volumetries. A certain metaphorical struggle can be sensed in Linda’s investigation of the parallels between war and peace, austerity and aesthetical indulgence.

5 - Linda Szabo-5

5 - Linda Szabo-1

5 - Linda Szabo-2

5 - Linda Szabo-3

5 - Linda Szabo-4

  1. Reinterpretation

Bianca Negrea – Fuse

The story of a collection is composed of separate points of reference and it takes a skilled narrative tailor to sew them together. Bianca Negrea found inspiration in a zoomorphic folkloric ritual which takes place in winter in some parts of Romania, and is known as “Fools Day”. This ritual implies dressing up in a bear suit, people covered in mud and lard, so it seems kind of crazy of Bianca to choose such an inspiration for her collection. But this is where her collection stands out, due to the designer’s ability to reinterpret a story and infuse it with new meanings. By extracting only the relevant aspects of this story and filtering them through her own esthetic perspective, Bianca Negrea managed to present us a very cool, urban and extravagant collection…which is a long way from lard and mud.

12 - Bianca Negrea-5

12 - Bianca Negrea-1

12 - Bianca Negrea-2

12 - Bianca Negrea-3

12 - Bianca Negrea-4

  1. Social commentary

Regian Frolich – “Rising Weapons”

Besides their aesthetic function, the purpose of clothes is to protect the wearer from the aggressions of his surrounding environment, be it climatic, social, or human aggressions. Regian Frolich’s collection, entitled “Rising Weapon” seems to tackle a sensitive aspect of our present: the impending threat of war generated by the ongoing conflicts from different parts of the world. Inspired by military attire, his clothes are designed to shelter our physical body from the destructive social nature. The pieces composing the collection are layered through styling in order to resemble a textile shield which renders the feeling of safety, without ignoring the functional aspect of such attire.

3 - Regian Frolich-5

3 - Regian Frolich-1

3 - Regian Frolich-2

3 - Regian Frolich-3
3 - Regian Frolich-4

  1. Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Folkloric Heritage

Nadejda Iacubina – “Marita-ma mama!”

When it comes to deconstructing Romanian folklore, many would roll their eyes and tell you that nothing new can be said or done about the subject. Nadejda Iacubina begs to differ, and I salute her for that, because I think that in order to consume ones curiosity regarding a certain subject, one should revisit it, deconstruct and reconstruct it until you assimilate what you were meant to learn and discover. It is a kind of ritual of self-discovery, and the idea of ritual stands at the core of Iacubina’s collection. From a spiritual perspective, the ritual of marriage represents a union between two individuals, who become one. Focusing on the reinterpretation of traditional male attire, the designs symbolise a renunciation of all preconceived ideas regarding gender differences and reveal a visual union of the couple. The clothes were made out of raw cotton, leather, and wool with graphic insertions of gold, harmoniously combined. The accessories were inspired by dowry chests, revealing the designer’s attention to details.

16 - Nadejda Iacubina-5

16 - Nadejda Iacubina-1

16 - Nadejda Iacubina-2
16 - Nadejda Iacubina-3

16 - Nadejda Iacubina-4

  1. Meditation

Magdalena Butnariu – “Spirit Amara: “an harm it none, do what ye will”

The fragile nature of creation offers it a unique beauty. Magdalena Butnariu’s collection investigates this kind of beauty attributing it to nature, celebrating its ability to detach itself and those that embrace it from a mechanized existence. As the models came down the runway in their perfectly starched ensembles, I couldn’t help imagining them as members of a cult, a secret society living in a dystopic reality which has lost its contact with nature, carrying on their backs the remains of a lost world. Eager to save the last traces of humanity, they carry in their wooden and glass backpacks the last specimens of plants, hoping they will find a way to save them. They also hide between the perfectly cut and pleated folds of their garments, as in a herbarium, their favourite flowers which still bare the smell of grass, and trees, and rain. The detached beauty of the garments bore a kind of nostalgia which invites you to meditate on the importance of nature and memory. Through her story, designs, accessories and the mood her collection generated, she managed to impress the Henkel jury and was rewarded with the Perwoll Young Designers Award for best MA collection.

25 - Magdalena Butnariu-6

25 - Magdalena Butnariu-1

25 - Magdalena Butnariu-2

25 - Magdalena Butnariu-3

25 - Magdalena Butnariu-4

25 - Magdalena Butnariu-5

  1. Eclecticism

Ancuta Sarca – “Eleganza”

One of the reasons I enjoyed this year’s UAD Gala was the fact that I got to see some of the BA graduates from two years ago, who were now presenting their MA collections. One of those designers is Ancuta Sarca whose funky “Ghetto Superstar” collection from two years ago made me think of running away to join the La S.A.P.E sartorial gang in Congo. During these two years Ancuta had the chance, through a scholarship offered by the University, to work as an intern in the Meadham Kirchhoff design studio in London. This experience did not change her aesthetic approach, but enriched it with a pathological desire to experiment. Her BA collection entitled “Eleganza” is an eclectic composition mixing 18th century opulence with 20th century subcultures. For me it had a New Romanticism feel which certainly had to do with the uninhabited joy and decadence of mixing colors and textures. Ancuta Sarca had fun designing her collection, from her rollercoaster ride through history and aesthetics, until the styling details like the shoes which were hand-made by her, or the abstract print strokes that covered some of the garments which were painted by Andreea Tivadar. ”Eleganza” can easily function as fashion manifesto for a youth subculture whose members enjoy contemplating the thought of drinking tea and eating cake with Marie Antoinette in a Candy Crush castle.

24 - Ancuta Sarca-6

24 - Ancuta Sarca-1

24 - Ancuta Sarca-2

24 - Ancuta Sarca-3

24 - Ancuta Sarca-4

24 - Ancuta Sarca-5

  1. Irony

Alina Morar – Fara Numar

Alina Morar chooses to explore the manele subculture focusing on the fashion choices of those embracing it in order to raise questions regarding prejudices, differences, and the aesthetical value of kitsch. The distinct features of the manele fashion style are opulence, an attraction for oriental embellishments, logo display, western affordable luxury clothing brands, and flashy jewellery. Alina uses all these elements of a distinct fashion style and reinterprets them in such a way that it tricks us into liking a style which we despised for its lack of consistency, refinement and good taste. But how does she manage to do that? She uses elements from the manelist wardrobe such as suits, flashy jewellery, robes and sportswear and reinterprets them through different tailoring techniques to give them a modern and unconventional edge. Her irony is subtle and witty.

23 - Alina Morar-7 23 - Alina Morar-1 23 - Alina Morar-2 23 - Alina Morar-3 23 - Alina Morar-4 23 - Alina Morar-5 23 - Alina Morar-6

  1. Introspection

Andreea Castrase – Rites of Passage

Having as sources of inspiration myth, ritual, ceremony, transition, Andreea Castrase’s collection distinguished itself through a certain detachment. Her introspective approach on the analysis of concepts allowed her to create garments which carry with them the beauty of ideas while being able to stand alone as functional and wearable items of clothing. The designer uses natural fabrics which she embellishes with lace to create the illusion of dimension, and metallic buckles to give weight and offer closure. Clothes can sometimes function as intimate symbols of personal transformation, and Andreea Castrase understands that. The items composing her collection have the ability to become timeless pieces, carrying with them  the stories of many rites of passage.

For her creativity, the use of concept and modern sewing and cutting techniques, Andreea Castrase was rewarded with the Syoss Award for innovative design.

26 - Andreea Castrase-1 26 - Andreea Castrase-2 26 - Andreea Castrase-3 26 - Andreea Castrase-4 26 - Andreea Castrase-5 26 - Andreea Castrase-6 26 - Andreea Castrase-7

Photos by Emil Costrut

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

Despite the rain and the mud which turned the first day of Electric Castle in a post-apocalyptic scenery where its inhabitants were forced to abandon their festival apparel (flowers, spikes and everything nice) and struggle to find a pair of rubber boots and a raincoat in order to blend in, and not sink in, the party spirit survived. The electric vibes managed to stop the rain, and during the last days of the festival the rubber boots turned from necessity into a fashion trend.

And speaking of fashion, there was plenty, and at the heart of it was the Fashion Unplugged space. For those who didn’t fancy the raincore trend (rubber boots + raincoat), for those who wanted to pimp their boots with colorful stencils, or for those who wanted to experience a total make-over, the Fashion Unplugged area was the best place to be. Throughout the festival, the Electric Castle “inhabitants” were able interact with designs signed by young Romanian designers from Cluj-Napoca. The price tags were friendly, and those interested in the clothes and accessories were not at all shy about buying them. The constant flow of visitors turned the Fashion Unplugged tent into a vibrant area of the festival. I am glad I had the chance to experience fashion in such a fun and youthful way.

11046330_1585279078401587_4148356758038155913_n

10986513_1586593908270104_7277173707748991126_o

10708486_1586052838324211_1946193990098885163_o

11060248_1587149851547843_3620441095778396773_o

11231881_1586052848324210_5413151442263116910_o

11059398_1587150438214451_6279149060989741413_o

11026283_1587149884881173_7772399013663392337_o

11411990_1587150224881139_3736359583351222701_o

Styling sessions

10998074_1586123841650444_7324320030475161365_n

11665393_1586143434981818_6442955317228332873_n

Some of the Fashion Unpluggers 11667333_1586323124963849_5949699054145119846_n

A Sneak Peek of the UAD Fashion Design Collections @ Expo Transilvania Exhibition

A long title for a short blog post, but the fact is I want to save all my fancy words for a long blog post with a short title in which I will tell you more about my favorite collections from this year’s UAD Gala. Until then, I have some images for you from the UAD Exhibition at Expo Transilvania which opened this Sunday and includes the graduation works of students from every University department.

This year, the Fashion Design department chose to present the works of the students through a photo editorial shot by Emil Costrut which was displayed on the walls of the exhibition hall. The photos represent stylized outfits of the graduates collections and offer us a glimpse of what the designers were trying to reveal through their designs. Some of my favorite collections were:

Aliz Simon

Aliz Simon

Bianca Negrea

Bianca Negrea

Nadejda Iacubina

Nadejda Iacubina

Alina Morar

Alina Morar

Ancuta Sarca

Ancuta Sarca

Andreea Castrase

Andreea Castrase

Magdalena Butnariu

Magdalena Butnariu

@ Electric Castle, Fashion is Unplugged

FashionUnplugged_LOGO_ID_Profile_pic_yellow_01-1A couple of months ago I was telling you about a new creative project, Fashion Unplugged, whose aim is to promote young fashion designers from Cluj-Napoca as part of Electric City, an event promoting the forthcoming Electric Castle Music Festival.

After its success during the Electric City event, the Fashion Unplugged team is announcing a second project which will take place during the third edition of the Electric Castle Festival at Banffy Castle, near Cluj. The Fashion Unplugged project invites us fashion aficionados to mix good music with quality fashion design on a specially designed Fashion Stage where 20 designers, stylists, make-up and hairstyle specialists, photographers and special guests will offer us the chance to interact in a nonconventional way with fashion.

Throughout the entire music festival, the Fashion Unplugged “line-up” will include styling workshops, fashion consulting, trend presentations and personalized shopping sessions. The designs on display have been specially created for this event, and had music festival outfits as inspiration. Visitors can purchase the designed products on spot at affordable prices.

DESIGNERI PORTRET ALL-1

The 20 designers who will showcase their designs on the Fashion Stage from the 25th of July until the 28th of July are: Aitai  Lorincz,  Flore  Diana,  Ancuța Sarca,  Andras Andrea, Crina Bulprich, Teodora Vișinescu, Oana Lupaș, Astrid Țîrlea, Ingrid Teodosiu, Anca Țința, Alexandra  Ivașcu,  Nazarica Bartoș, Luis  Drăjan,  Emese Bakó,  Georgiana  Giuroiu,  Florin  Brătan, Sabina Pop.

Fashion Unplugged is a chance for fashion lovers, as well as for a wider audience to interact with designers and their products, to find out more about their work and to consult specialists in styling (Catalin Enache, the official X Factor Romania stylist is the special guest of the event), hairstyle and make-up, and hopefully to understand that we can wear Romanian designs and be cool about it. Those who will step on the Fashion Stage at Electric Castle will get the chance to experience a total make-over which will be caught on camera by Emil Costrut and will be uploaded on the Catwalk15 app.

Fashion Unplugged is powered by The One Magazine.

Setup arrangements by Aramis Feeling

11639728_1008325489202417_472178769_o-1

11262617_1008325509202415_832813093_o-1

11535357_1008325462535753_70462429_o-1

11535478_1008325445869088_880827278_o-1

3 for Cluj

Last week I introduced a new category on the blog, promising you a weekly selection of three new and exciting designers. This week’s selection is based on the list of nominees for Romanian ELLE Style Awards category “Best Young Designer”. ELLE Style Awards is one of the most anticipated events in the Romanian fashion industry due to the magazine’s notoriety, as well as for its effervescent selection of designers, models, photographs, artists, and more. This year’s nominees for “Best Young Designer” category were: Alina Morar, Emese Bako, Crina Bulprich, and Imaculatura (a fashion project coordinated by Anca Adina Cojocaru and Irina Constantin). The winner, Alina Morar, was announced yesterday during the Award Gala which was held in Bucharest.

What I found interesting in this year’s selection for this category is the fact that out of 4 nominees, 3 are young designers from Cluj-Napoca. Alina Morar, Emese Bako, and Crina Bulprich are graduates of the University of Art and Design’s Fashion Design department, and together with some of their design colleagues, under the thorough guidance of their University professors, have managed to reconfigure the Romanian fashion map. Although its capital city – Bucharest – is still functioning as headquarter for the fashion industry, with all its events, magazines, boutiques, stores, and connections, Cluj-Napoca is becoming a laboratory for young and fresh ideas and designers. The reasons for this shift is due to the city’s artistic buzz, as well as the UAD (University of Art and Design) on-going strive to create a dialogue with the international fashion scene through internships, scholarships and creative support offered to their students. The emerging group of fashion designers are already proving their relevance on the national fashion stage.

ALINA MORAR

alina-morar-3

alina-morar-2

EMESE BAKO

emese-bako-5

emese-1

CRINA BULPRICH

crina-5

crina-3photo source:

 

 

 

3 for Thursday

Do you remember that episode (it’s from season 6) from Friends when Joey teaches Chandler a way to remember the names of days? It’s one of my favorite Joey quotes:

“Thursday! Look, if you need help remembering, just think of it like this: The third day. All right? Monday, one day. Tuesday, two day. Wednesday, when? Huh? What day? Thursday! The third day! Okay?”

As a way of celebrating Joey’s unique wisdom, and as a way of highlighting the importance of creativity in every aspect of our everyday life (even in the case of re-inventing the seven days of the week), I was thinking of presenting you every week, on Thursday, the third day (according to Joey) a personal selection of designers who will convince you, through their creativity, that things don’t always have to be as they are.

For this week I have chosen three British young designers, and their s/s 2015 collections: Ashley Williams, Claire Borrow, and Hannah Weiland from Shrimp.

Ashley Williams is one of the 8 designers who have received this year’s NEWGEN sponsorship. She  studied a BA in Womenswear at The University of Westminster, and her collection for s/s 2015 focused on the culture clash between the east and west in the late 60s early 70s.

ashley williams

Claire Borrow also studied fashion at University of Westminster, and made her debut in fashion through the platform Fashion East (as Ashley also did), and is now exhibiting with NEWGEN. Her aesthetic focuses around youth culture, and subcultures, and has a “do it yourself” vibe, but the talent and attention for details transpire her collection. For her s/s 2015 show she was inspired by science fiction, creating pieces suited for dystopian girls and boys.

claire borrow 1

claire borrow

Hannah Weiland is a London-based designer whose whimsical line of faux furs is called “Shrimps”. As she describes it, her “sweet, fluffy, and colorful” designs are beautifully crafted, and combine British humor with a touch of the surreal and nostalgia. Although Hannah is still at the beginning of her fashion career, her “Shrimps” are a hit among fashionistas such as Susie Bubble, Kate Foley, Alexa Chung, and Lily Allen. For her spring/summer 2015 collection, Hannah teamed up with lounge-wear brand Poplin and created silk pajamas to complement the Shrimps furs in a playful reinterpretation of the Flintstone’s animated universe.

shrimpsshrimps 2photo source: