The Romanian traditional blouse known as “ie” (íe) in the local language, has been for more than two millennia, the way people in the countryside, man and women, would be dressed every day. They had more sophisticated blouses for the Sunday church service, but you could see peasants dressed up in “ie” when they were going to work the land as well.

Romanians seems to have been focused and managed to concentrate an entire world of meaning and cultural heritage in a very short word, probably the shortest in Romanian: ie (íe).

The first time when this fashion item hit worldwide celebrity was in 1940 when the very well-known French painter Henry Matisse finalized his painting name simply this: “La Blouse Roumaine”. Mattise was inspired to paint this by a long list of gorgeous, talented Romanian women, many of whom had strong ties with the French: Anna de Noailles, Martha Bibesco, Elvira Popescu and Elena Vacarescu to name just a few, not to mention the famous Queen Marie herself, who in spite of her Russian – British origins, wore the Romanian port with insatiable pride.

Approximately 10 years ago, a new wave of celebrity made the Romanian blouse famous all over the world. Riding the wave of ethnographic inspiration into fashion, numerous designers crafted collections had embedded into their design the smallest part of the Romanian folk DNA: “the little cross” that put next to other thousands, create the complex patterns that adorn the hand made all natural fabric, perfect to summer and winter alike.

Our team members from the free tour in Bucharest are also very proud of the national outfit.

The “ie” is such a hit that it even has a day in the calendar of Romanian celebrations. On June 24th, everybody should wear the ie in order to raise awareness on this amazing item and the thousand years long story it entails. A fabulous example of awareness on the topic was also a campaign specially designed to support the local Romanian craftsmen in their fight against the big fashion brands that are using traditions.

Foto credit: Studioul Colorat