Friday, May 25, 2012

Fashion in Bucharest: an interview with Ada from Classiq

Romania is one of those countries everybody knows, all the while not really knowing anything about it. When  I was young, my family used to vacation in Transylvania. Yes, that was exactly as picturesque as it sounds (if your idea of picturesque includes travelling with 4 kids in a hot car for 24 hours straight). No, the people did not have fangs. It's been a while since I've last been there and I feel a travelling itch coming up. I'd especially love to see the parts of Romania still unfamiliar to me. Bucharest for example: I saw it once and mostly remember long avenues, hot markets and a neighbourhood in decay. I have a feeling there's a lot going on in Eastern-Europe, though: cities in the process of reinventing themselves are often a cradle for creativity. In order to find out, I rang the bell of the refined Ada from Classiq, one of my favorite blogs. Classiq is a great melange of style, design, movies and photography and occasionally guides us to hot spots in Bucharest. When in need of an instant inspiration boost, I'd definitely recommend it.

You've been living in Bucharest for a while now. What exactly draws you to it?

Although Bucharest is not my native city, I've been living here for almost 12 years and I've come to love it. It has so many beautiful parts I'm still discovering, amazing architecture, its cultural involvement, the possibilities of development in so many areas, the young people who decide to stay here and try to make a difference, their creativity and aesthetic sense.

What's the fashion scene like in your city? Do you have a lot of young designers? Is there something like a specific Romanian sense of style?

There are a few young designers that have been very well received at various fashion weeks in Europe. But I truly believe that talent, hard work and perseverance are equally important. I hate to see a young designer who shows great promise at his/her first or second collection and then gets lost on his/her way. The most difficult part is not reaching the top, but succeeding in staying there. And there is one other thing: I like seeing creativity in fashion, but I also like to see wearability. I often get the impression that the Romanian fashion designers focus more on the first part. I would like to see more collections of wearable pieces, classics regularly reinvented. This is something the Romanian fashion scene lacks.

I can't say that there is a specific Romanian sense of style. Romanians' style is very eclectic. There are women with impeccable style, simple, elegant, effortless, and every time I see one I regret I don't have more time to spare and take photos to publish on my blog. And there are the others, too fashion conscious, the ones who let themselves be driven by trends and not by what suits their personality and figure. Diversity is good, it helps you refine your taste, and everyone's style evolves in time, so it should, but I would like to see Romanians more confident in their own judgment and not be afraid to embrace simplicity more often.

Do you have any favourite shopping streets in Bucharest?

Unfortunately a thing Bucharest terribly lacks is a proper shopping street, the kind of street I would like to include a selection of my favourite brands, from local to international ones. Some of the fashion shops I love, along with my favourite bookstores (because there is no round of shopping without a visit to a bookshop), are scattered on different streets downtown Bucharest, from Unirii Square (Piaţa Unirii) to Romană Square (Piaţa Romană). The stores are usually centered in shopping malls, a concept I'm not very fond of, it deprives you of one of the pleasures of shopping, roaming the streets in search of that special something to add to your wardrobe or home.

What are your favourite Romanian stores or brands?

A few of my favourite Romanian brands for a complete look, from lingerie to accessories:

Sepala by Mihaela Glavan, one of the most appreciated Romanian designers. She creates fabulous, unique shoes, in beautiful colours and with architectural design, and bags.

Cristhelen B. by Musette: another one of my favourite Romanian (and not only) leather accessory brand. The design, quality and attention to detail are the elements that define the brand and which have won me over over the years. Shoes, bags, belts and gloves, their products are objects of desire.

Portobello: a charming atelier-boutique. Basic pieces, simple design, t-shirts, dresses, jackets, skirts, all made of natural fabrics like cotton, silk and wool. The essentials I always have trouble finding in good quality and at affordable prices. A fascinating fact about Portobello is that all the clothes are made in-store by a modiste, in the same space where they are merchandised. The products can also be adjusted to fit you perfectly. A unique experience, which makes you feel very special.

I.D. Sarrieri: the most beautiful lingerie. A constant presence in the fashion capitals and fashion magazines worldwide, the brand creates luxurious and sophisticated lingerie, made of the finest fabrics and with exquisite finishing touches.

A huge thanks to Ada - I haven't got a clue when I'll get to see Bucharest again, but I'll make sure to bear this list in mind!


  1. Great interview ! Indeed Eastern european countries are the last I am thinking of when it comes to fashion. Having point of view of people coming from countries that does not have big events such as Fashion Weeks is great because they have an other conception of fashion. Ada said they are ladies that take especially attention to the sartorial point in their style and I would like to see how :).

    Thank you for this interview !

    Shug'A'Very from Incognito

  2. Thank you, Elke, for having me over. Your invitation was a nice opportunity to actually sit down and think about the Romanian fashion scene. Thank you for the nice words! :)

  3. Every time Ada shows us the pictures of her city, I become more and more curious to discover Bucharest as she always presents such great spots. I'm saving all her suggestions in case we decide an impromptu trip to Romania! Elke, thanks for this interview and I hope that Ada will start showing some street style looks from her city!

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  6. I love those brown lace-up boots so much! Great interview! =)

  7. What a fascinating interview and insight into a place about which I really knew very little.
    Thank you so much for such a considered response to my first feminism post. I always really appreciate the depth of your thoughts.

  8. Your blog is awesome. will come back again