These days it takes much more than a BA degree to become a true fashion designer. Three years of university studies provide fashion students a certain amount of knowledge, specific skills and techniques to be developed and completed further with other experiences, internships, additional courses and a proper job in the field.

Therefore, it is not easy at all for a fashion student in the last year to put himself/herself together in order to articulate a mature discourse and to make a personal statement with the first collection. Yet, some of the students that presented their collections on the catwalk of the UAD Fashion Gala 2014 (the graduation show of Fashion Department at University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca), succeeded to make a strong impression.

Definitely, Giorgiana Giuroiu was one of them. Her graduating collection titled Folcloriada stood out through the originality of the inspiration source, the novelty in interpreting a traditional theme and the innovative materials introduced.

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The collection has its roots in Romanian folklore and the title refers to a “healing” journey meant to recover the authentic values of cultural heritage. In many ways, this collection epitomizes designer’s personal quest, that moved from her passion of studying specific elements of Romanian traditional costume (headpieces, peasant coats, masks and belts) to the challenge of converting them into comprehensive contemporary outfits. The ironic twist also helped a lot.

The clothing ensembles resulted from this creative experiment succeeded to integrate folk elements in contemporary style, abstracting the traditional costume silhouette and proposing new solutions for the textile surfaces. The techno shepherds on the catwalk wore outfits made out of quilted plastic filled with raw wool, holographic leather jackets, impressive belts and handmade knitwear paired with sneakers and metallic leggings.

Below, there are  a few sketches and moodboards from designer’s lab, giving some hints of her creative process.

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And here are some close-ups of the final products.

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Giorgiana Giuroiu’s graduation collection from University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca/ coordinators: Professor PhD Anca Pia Rusan, Lecturer PhD Lavinia Ban, Tutor PhD Smaranda Bercea/ Catwalk photos by Daniel Robu, backstage photos by Raisa Hagiu.



A fresh graduate from University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca (MA studies), Gabriela Dejo  explores the concept of ‘imperfection’ in her eponymous collection presented at UAD Fashion Design Gala 2014. The notion of beauty as imperfection has become more significant over the last years, a direction which has grown as ‘human’ reaction against the rapid advances in technology and the idealized world of the digital era. In her own way, Gabriela searches an emotional version of reality in asymmetric cuts, printed fabrics inspired by nature, straw accessories, clothes that could easily melt into the natural landscapes. In designer’s words: “…in a chaotic world, there are still simplicity, principles and good taste; these can be found in the culture of the Far East, in the Japanese aesthetic. Reduced to pure essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity of nature, in accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay and death.”

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“IMperfection” – MA collection by Gabriela Dejo/ Coordinating teacher: Prof. PhD Anca Pia Rusan
Photography : by Mihai Andrei Popa/ Photo Assistants : Maria Balea & Marius Dobra/ Make-Up & Hair : Anca Marchis/ Model : Fica Balancan


HUNTERS by Ioana Ciolacu

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The “Designer for Tomorrow” fashion talent award has been presented as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin since 2009. As an initiative of Peek & Cloppenburg Düsseldorf and its online shop Fashion ID, the award provides a visible platform for creativity. It offers top up-and-coming fashion talent the opportunity to be discovered and to receive a great deal of attention from the fashion industry and the public.

In July 2013, Ioana Ciolacu won the fashion talent award and since then she`s been on a sponsorship program, during which she went on a voyage of inspiration to Paris, visited Stella McCartney’s design studios and went to choose fabrics in Hamburg – and much more besides. As the highlight of the program, the Romanian designer is now presenting the new S/S 2015 collection, her first solo fashion show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin (read more here).

Ioana Ciolacu ‘Hunters’ collection consists of 25 feminine outfits. Inspired by the relationship between hunter and prey, the designer knew how to develop a clean and smart collection, perfectly suited for contemporary lifestyle. Starting with the quality of the fabrics, the modernity of shapes and silhouettes introduced, continuing with the accuracy of finishings and the refined solutions found from necklines to hems, everything was impeccably conducted to get a coherent ensemble which is also highly commercially appealing.

The ‘Hunters’ theme served as a nice pretext to develop digital prints inspired by plumage of birds, along with structured and laser cut details designed to highlight the silhouettes. Elegant, sporty, urban with a luxurious touch, the collection is well balanced and flawless – a tremendous achievement for a young designer, paving her way to the challenging world of high fashion.

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To get a full picture of Ioana Ciolacu’s collection, check the show video from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – ‘Designer for tommorow’.

UAD Fashion Gala 2014

Each year, the end of June, the Fashion Design Department of the University of Art and Design Cluj Napoca reveals a new generation of young designers. Each year a number of BA and MA graduates show their work in a special event – UAD Fashion Gala. For most of them, this is the opportunity to display their first personal collection in front of a big audience, an important step marking the beginning of their fashion career.

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This year’s edition was a special one. Celebrating 20 years of Cluj Fashion Gala, the graduation show was held at the National Theatre where, after a rigorous selection, 24 collections were brought into the spotlight. The show began with a scented moment as the Romanian perfumer Octavian Sever Coifan created the “Jubilee” fragrance to celebrate 20 years of fashion education in Cluj-Napoca. The theatre was filled with special guests from the textile and clothing industry, partners and sponsors, journalists and photographers, designers, alumni and many other fashion enthusiasts. The evening ended with an awarding ceremony of the most promising talents.

Overall, it was a strong and diverse year covering a wide range of creative pursuits, from the more mature and sophisticated approaches to ironic and twisted takes. While many students decided to play safe, some of them have enjoyed to take risks or to add a funny touch. The collections reflected global trends, personal visions on contemporary style and fashion design, various aesthetic orientations and, worth mentioning, most of the items displayed could actually be worn. Obviously, there was a particular concern for men clothing, a pursuit for ‘new’ and innovative fabrics, a great interest in Romanian cultural heritage as a rich source of inspiration.

I’m going to get back with more details in other articles. For now I have made a small selection trying to spot some major directions:



LI Crina Moldovan

Crina Moldovan (BA) – CUBE

MA Lucian Rusu

Lucian Rusu (MA) – Radical of Image



LI Vitos Ildiko

Vitos Ildiko (BA) – Fake Disneyland

LI Georgiana Giuroiu

Georgiana Giuroiu (BA) – Folcloriada

LI Sabina Pop

Sabina Pop (BA) – Voievod 2.0.



LI Bako Emese

Bako Emese (BA) – Al Jebr



MA Andrada Sucuturdean

Andrada Sucuturdean (MA)  – Madame Monsieur

LI Carla Put

Carla Put (BA) – Street Spirit



LI Alina Lipotchi

Alina Lipotchi (BA) – You’re A Big Boy Now!

LI Luis Drajan

Luis Drajan (BA) – Me, Luis

MA Codruta Nascu

Codruta Nascu (MA) – Metonymy

LI Anamaria Put

Anamaria Put (BA) – Surrender



LI Evelin Demeter

Demeter Evelin (BA) – Maasai Cricket Warriors

carmen trif

Carmen Trif (MA) – White Shadows

MA Mihaela Lungu

Mihaela Lungu (MA) – Inside/Out and In-Between



LI Nazarica Bartos

Nazarica Bartos (BA) – White Picket Fence

LI Ingrid Teodosiu

Ingrid Teodosiu (BA) – Inner Feelings

MA Ruxandra Moldovan

Ruxandra Moldovan (MA) – Organic Structures



LI Teodora Barbu

Teodora Barbu (BA) – Shamanic Jungle

The Fashion Design Graduation class of 2014 was coordinated by Professor PhD Anca Pia Rusan, Lecturer PhD Lavinia Ban, Tutor PdD Smaranda Bercea. The MA Graduation class was coordinated by Professor PhD Elena Basso Stanescu and Professor PhD Anca Pia Rusan.

Photo credit: Daniel Robu

Difendi Conserva Prega

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Andrea Cammarosano was born in Trieste, studied fashion design in Florence and Antwerp, worked with Walter Van Beirendonck, collaborated with Italian brand Iceberg, received many prizes, and is currently based in San Francisco. His work is cosmopolite, versatile, well-crafted, conceptual, bold, paying homage to tradition and classic elegance with ‘a hope for a better future’.

His S/S 2014 collection titled ‘Difendi Conserva Prega‘ (translated ‘Defend Preserve Pray’) proposes modular clothing. Inspired by Pasolini’s philosophy, work and military uniforms and Italian historical costumes, Cammarosano divides the outfits in smaller pieces that one can assembly in order to achieve the final look. Bold, simple, deep – I love the concept!