100%.RO at the Dr. Nicolae Minovici Museum of Folk Art

What is the connection between haute couture and Romanian folk art? What about that between Western fashion and traditional Romanian craft? You will be able to discover the answer to these questions by visiting the new thematic exhibition at the Dr. Nicolae Minovici Museum – 100%.RO.

The French fashion designer Philippe Guilet collaborated with many Romanian craftsmen to create in 2011 the collection 100%.RO ‒ Prejudices. Removing any prejudices related to Romanian culture, Guilet has created a clothing collection designed to highlight the current creation and artisan tradition. Just as a number of specialists work to produce outstanding haute couture pieces, a team of craftsmen and artisans, along with young designers, worked in the same way under the careful orchestration of Guilet. The sources of the creation went beyond the sphere of popular costume, the experiment collection being inspired by the “joy of the Romanians”, by the “noise of the loom”, or by various objects of our customs, such as the painted Easter eggs.

The 100%.RO collection is exhibited in a unique setting, in dialogue with the exhibits of the “Villa with Bells”, a villa that has become a museum where the collector Nicolae Minovici gathered art objects from his travels in all over the country. Sensitive to the cultural atmosphere of the era, marked by the search for the national style in the decorative and visual arts, Nicolae Minovici established a special collection of traditional textiles and pieces of adornment, Easter eggs and old icons, ceramics and pieces of furniture.

Like Minovici, Philippe Guilet traveled the country to discover traditions and places, and to understand the creative sensibility translated materially into various objects – with the aim of highlighting local creation. “The vocation of a pilgrim and my inquisitive spirit have made me discover in this country real talents who only ask to be able to express themselves in their best language, that «savoir faire»…”. In a way, the action of Guilet and his team continues old attempts, from the past of Romanian culture, to safeguard and keep traditional production active.

Among the outfits you will not find the peasant’s traditional blouses and aprons, but Western clothing items deeply inspired by the techniques of creation and decoration practiced even today in Romania. Dresses with beads, reminiscent of Bukovina collars, outfits reminiscent of the Schileru folk costume, or the “shingle” outfit are some of the spectacular outfits that visitors will be able to admire. A dress with solar motifs reiterates the astral marks found in the permanent exhibition, both on the walls and on objects. Also, references to the present Bucharest are not avoided, proof being the “Bucureștina” outfit, made of cable wires. The end of any collection is traditionally marked by the appearance of the wedding dress, which you can meet in the “Young Woman’s Room” in the Minovici Museum, imagined as a room dedicated to the young woman’s dowry.

Fashion exhibited in art or history museums is a unique event and a novelty in the history of museums and exhibitions. The end of the twentieth century was the period of great changes, and since then fashion exhibitions continue to be a reality that attracts many visitors and at the same time the attention of specialists. Therefore, the initiative of the Bucharest Municipality Museum subscribes to an innovative attitude regarding exhibition projects and their nature. The exhibition will be open from 23 April to 31 October 2021.

Mădălina-Ioana Manolache, museographer