August 2, 2021

Luxembourg - The Day of the Romanian Blouse, 2021

A bit late and a bit un-wanting to write this post as I think there is nothing to write about, but let's see together what I come up with. 

So, the Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse, (please let me know if the people of the ISS celebrated it, if not could we please just call it The Day of the Romanian Blouse?) is celebrated since 2013 all over the world where Romanians live. And as we spread quite a lot, you can imagine the day is celebrated everywhere. Every community is free to celebrate in its own way, but in general what we do is at least wear a Romanian Blouse on that specific day. Some communities gather in a public space and socialize, some go even further and organise events such as exhibitions, talks, book launchings or sezători. 

In Luxembourg, me and my friends have organised the day since 2013, and what we usually do is meet up in the Place Clairefontaine, wearing our blouses, then we have a picnic or a gathering of some sort, where we get to admire other blouses, meet new people who might have arrived in the last year in Luxembourg, see how everyone is doing. From one year to the next the quality of the blouses is getting better, but I still admire all women and men who found in their luggage a place for this heritage from home. I resonate more with migrants who hold on to their roots, to their unicity and authenticity. I don't need to tell you how much I love the Romanian Blouses and what they represent, you have a whole section on my blog dedicated to the topic.

There is also another group, also my friends, who make blouses. Yes, you have read it right, in Luxembourg there are women who make correct and authentic Romanian Blouses. Maybe this deserves a separate post as it is a bit amazing and a bit unthinkable a few years ago, but in Luxembourg there are women who not only know how to use the needle, but women who study and who take classes and who are really interested and willing to spend the time to make a blouse as it should be. You should see us how we ask for advice, how we debate a pattern, how we organise joint DHL packages with fabric and threads and sequins and all you could think of. How we source old Romanian Blouses and we examine them or how we talk about exhibitions organised in Romania... it is interesting and I really love the dynamic of this group. As I think I am more like them now, not wearing Romanian Blouses as much, but enjoying making them.

So, with my friends we decided to celebrate the day in our own way, partly because of the pandemic, public gathering is limited to a certain number of people and no one could really control the actual number of people willing to take part in our celebration. And, also because 24th of June, the Day of the Blouse, comes after June 23rd the National Day of Luxembourg, usually a free day. 

We decided to organise a photo shooting, because some of the ladies have made their own new blouse in the past year and because the number of authentic and correct Romanian Blouses in Luxembourg is growing as there are more and more ladies willing to dedicate time and money into making one or acquiring one.  

The photo shooting took place in a castle, as there are quite a few in Luxembourg, and I came with my new to that point, blouse with a chirușcă. Chirușca is the red triangle you see on my shoulder, it is the altiță, but instead of making it rectangular, you make it triangular. This type of altiță is to be seen in Vrancea, in Romania and it migrated to the neighbouring regions, but it is traditional to Vrancea. Of course, the traditional chirușca is embroidered, heavily I might say, but because this is an everyday blouse, an urban blouse, I chose to make it from a different fabric to mark it in some way. What is interesting in a chirușcă is the cut as the triangular shape gives the blouse a different dinamic. It is also gathered around the neck as all Romanian Blouses are, but because of the change in shape, it flows different in the back. 

On my blouse I chose to embroider the sleeves with a patern from my region, which is Iași, and embellish it with sequins. In the photo above you can see how the chirușcă is supposed to stand on the shoulders, similar to the shoulders of soldiers, proud, giving a certain figure to the person wearing the blouse. In all the other pictures, the red triangle falls on the back a little, because I did not tie the blouse around my neck. 

Also, new to me, I chose the embroider with red. This is not one of my favourite colours or even a colour I would go to when picking something to wear. I am more of a blue with mustard or orange combination. But, I had to step a little out of my comfort zone. The blouse is made with linen fabric, embroidered with red silk and wool and embellished with sequins, again something I am not very found of, but I chose to do that because the traditional chirușcă is opulent, abundant with metallic thread, with sequins or with tel (a type of flat metallic thread).

See here as the chirușcă is slipping to the back? Since the photos were taken, I've adjusted it. Also in this picture, you can see a bit better the patern used. If you are interested I will try to write a detailed post with photos about the stages of making this blouse, but as I am so behind with publishing posts on this blog, you have to wait a good while. 

They are some of my friends passionate about Romanian Blouses: Camelia, Mirela, Brândușa, Laura, Georgiana, Ștefania, Ștefana and Mădălina. Most of them wear blouses they made and also skirts they made. They are incredible as a group of friends and as individuals. They are my home away from home, the ladies who share the same language and passions, my clan. 

Pictures were taken by Gabriela, from check her handles and if you are in need of a photo session, don't hesitate.

Speaking of Romanian Blouses, if you want to make one for yourself and have no idea where to start, get in touch and we will help you. If you want one already made, please take a look at this website:,  where ladies from Romania started making blouses to sell and they are gorgeous. It is the only website selling Romanian Blouses, I feel confident recommending. 

I hope you liked this post as much as I've enjoyed writing it and as usual you can find me @mademoiselle.ralu 

P.S. If you are interested to see how we celebrated the Day of the Romanian Blouse on June 24th in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 just click on the links. 

No comments: