Stowed away on a corner of Belgrave Square, for seven days the Romanian Cultural Institute is home to a stunning exhibition of the country’s leading fashion stars. Curated by Attila Kim of the Galateca Gallery in Bucharest, the exhibition is a freeze frame of a backstage fashion show. Swathes of sunshine yellow fabric are draped across the hall to frame the almost exclusively monochrome creations on display. Lemons are sliced and artfully placed to evoke salivation at the site of gowns by designers including Doina Levintza, Dinu Bodiciu and Lucian Broscatean.
For Andreea Badala, a graduate of London College of Fashion, the environment comes first for producing her collection of conceptual undergarments. “I make everything by hand, including every bra cup, which can take up to five hours,” she says. “It makes such a difference to the industrial process that it usually goes through and I’ve developed my own technique from studying vintage lingerie. It also means that I can tailor a garment to my client and make the fir perfect for them.”
As for why the collection predominantly features black, Badala has the answer. “I was seven years old when communism collapsed in Romania, so before that everyone had to wear dark colours and couldn’t really experiment with colour,” she explains. “After the collapse, everyone went crazy for colour but most of the designers didn’t do it well and so after all these years we like to stay away from that and focus on shape, construction and detail.”
The Romania Showcase continues in Belgrave Square until February 22.