After me living abroad for 8 years, I wanted to reconnect with my roots. The story behind this shoot started with a desire to take photos of traditional Transylvanian folkloric garments that have incredible details, are all hand-made, embroidered and take months to make. Each area has its own motifs, colours and style. Traditionally, each woman would receive dowry from her mother when she started a family. Thus, the dowry would get garments added to it with each generation. Many garments are older than a century.
After looking for someone that has a vast wardrobe of such garments, I came across a lovely lady living in the countryside who took great care of her dowry. She was kind enough to let me borrow the garments- for me to take photos of and style them as I please.
My aim was to style her dowry in a contemporary way-in a way to bring the garments back to life. ⁠Thus I combined it with local designer corsets that are upcycled and I invited local people to be my models. I also set out to challenge gender-specific outfits by dressing up the male model with traditional women’s folk garments.⁠ These folk garments are specific to Călata (Kalotaszeg in Hungarian)- a Hungarian minority area. The illustrations are a collaboration with a Romanian illustrator showing local flora, with a similar⁠ inspiration approach as the folkloric garments’ motifs.
Typically it is only the people from rural areas that still have such garments. As their views are more conventional and follow tradition and gender specific roles & outfits, I would not have been able to style them in such an unconventional way if the lady I borrowed them from, wouldn’t had been so open-minded and kind. The folkloric wear is normally used for going to the church on a Sunday, for folkloric dancing or for a special occasion.
Credits:⁠ Art directed, photographed and styled by me. ⁠ @dianadau                            
Thanks to the team:⁠
Models: Oriana Iuga, Sonia Salome, Gabriel Gordon⁠
@orianaiuga @soniaoffduty @gorgabrieldon
Hair: Pop Salon (Alexandru Hosu & Evelyn S)⁠
@_popsalon @alexandru_hh @hairby.evelyn_s
Make-up: Karina Durnea @karina.durnea
Illustrator: Alexandra Nistor @esth.ethique
Wardrobe Credits: Corsets @cyclederror
Choker @killstar
Folk garments- dowry⁠

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