Maria-Raluca Streang’s collection was heavily inspired by her dad’s childhood stories. Investigating the ways in which Communism affected Romania’s traditional culture and the effect that had on the mentality of millions of children that grew up under the Romanian Communist Dictatorship. Looking especially at the difference between the school uniforms children used to wear during that period (1970-1989) and the traditional costume, symbol of craftmanship and folk art.
The voluminous romantic shapes used in the collection are the product of laborious pattern cutting. Not having access to an original school shirt from the ’80s, she recreated it with the help of 3D prototyping and digital pattern cutting software. Deconstructing and resizing different panels from the shirt prototype, she transformed a symbol of tyranny into a dream like airborne shapes. Streang developed her womenswear range by merging different fabrics such as wool, silk, upcycled cotton and pineapple leather. Thoroughly manipulating her textiles used she used shibori techniques, screenprint, crochet and laser cutting to upcycle old fabrics and to construct new textures.
The collection has an intimate and personal feeling, each piece having a different combination of unconventional pattern cutting and textile design. Using 3D prototyping and pattern cutting software, the garments were visualised upfront to ensure the best shape and textile match. Big chunky lace garments were constructed by joining old cotton doilies that Maria's grandmother made throughout her life. Oversized screen prints have been used to mimic the fabric developed from the doilies, onto their materials such as silk and linen.
As a life long vegetarian, Maria has conducted extensive research on animal leather replacements. Using pineapple leather, she developed a different production technique, laser cutting pattern pieces out of it and crocheting them together. Creating garments that exemplify the relationship between new technology and old technique. Her collection is the embodiment of forwarding thinking and elegance, her 8 outfits being a personal homage to her cultural identity.