Peasant Art Craft on Paris Catwalk
In 2011, a Romanian peasant stepped up on the catwalk. He didn’t read any fashion magazine, doesn’t have any degree in fashion. He didn’t chase any couture stage dream. Yet, he made it to Paris.
Skinner Constantin J. – A Haute Couture Artisan
Constantin J. is a Romanian skinner (furrier), born in 1949 in a small village from Bukovina. He learned this craft from his father and grandparents, who were both skinners. Even today he creates traditional coats from sheepskin pelts and hides, being the last skinner in his village. His handmade clothes are being worn by famous singers and catwalk models. He collaborated with the French designer Philippe Guilet.
Staging a haute couture means creating incredible, memorable collections. The budget was no limit for Guilet. Inspired by the Romanian crafs, he came up with the idea of staging its folk tradition. To complete the ambitious plan, he worked with 50 skilled peasants. The authentic pattern was preserved by his team, formed entirely of Romanian artisans.
In march 2011, he found Constantin Juravle. A brief look at his leather waistcoats was convincing enough. He had found a great leather artisan. After two months, he returned and they agreed to collaborate.
The designer provided him with all the materials needed. He brought the leather hides and pelts from Bistriţa.
100%.ro Traditional Romanian Fashion Show signed by Philippe Guilet
On November 5, after months of work, the folk fashion collection “Prejudice” was presented for the first time at the French Embassy. On December 10, 2011, the artisan steps up on catwalk, in Paris.
The collection counted 31 outfits. Constantin Juravle made 10 leather pieces, including leather skirts, dresses and costumes:
- Long lamb leather and astrakhan coat & skirt.
- Long sleeveless waistcoats
- Hand embroidered vegetable tanned leather dress (holita).
Mr. Juravle was so kind to share some secrets about the making of a traditional waistcoat.