Avant Garde-ning in Bucharest

When you think of Bucharest, you think of Ceausescu, you think of little Paris. You think of soviet era blocks and a hint of Parisian architecture.  Bucharest brings back a sense of cold war era past like it is the present. You walk through the streets of the city and you see countless orthodox churches right by neon lit nightclubs and a country full of contrasts, a country in flux. So it is no surprise that Romanian fashion has always faced an identity crisis. After the collapse of the communist dictatorship the country opened up to both the west and the east and the first post soviet era generation was poised to make their mark on global fashion. But those steps have been rather tentative as the Romanian market (like most developing markets) has been less than conducive to newer native designers. In a climate like that most of the designers have come from a background of relative affluence with limited to no professional training. A very few have taken the route that is a must in more developed fashion markets where you go through art and design schools and then apprentice for a bigger designer after college before starting your own shop. Designers like Carmen Secareanu have followed that path. But ultimately the stalwart of new Romanian fashion has been Maria Lucia Hohan, who was able to breakout of Romania and move on to the global stage with her intricately designed gowns. But it is still a hard market for newer designers to survive and prosper. Amidst the doom and gloom of a fluctuating and at times unforgiving market, there are some bright spots like Sandra Galan. The deconstruction, the avant-garde whimsy in the form of incorporating Cristina Frentiu Socolescu's work,  the sculptural sense of space that embody what is beautiful and edgy about a culture that is rapidly evolving, are all present in Sandra Galan’s clothes. The bespoke intricacy weaved into the layers of each piece bridges that gap between the histories of Romanian fashion with the evolving and at times trippy present. The neon lights of Bamboo and the moody blues of an orthodox church are all present in her work. It is present in the form of globalization and fusion, both aesthetically and structurally. Sandra Galan’s work evokes a sense of timelessness not by being a classic, but ignoring the notion of time all together. Her collections emanates a sense of style that is not very present in Romania. But the beauty of timelessness is that it does not need to be on trend, in fashion, en vogue, it just needs to be. And that is what Sandra Galan’s work symbolizes. It is here, transcending space, time and colloquial sense of aesthetics moving to a direction where a very few of Romanian fashion designers have been and are willing to go... Forward.



Editorial Credits

Photographer: Omi for Deux Magazine

Designer : Sandra Galan

Milliner : Kristina Dragomir

Make-Up and Hair : Paulina Buldumea and George Negrisan

Model : Ilona Foeia