”IA – the Story of a Masterpiece” is a book written in Romanian by Stela Moldovanu. The English edition was published in 2020. This 448-pages album is an encyclopedia-type book addressed to whomever is eager to learn more about traditions and especially about the art of embroidery, which used to be a calling of women from the Romanian areal for thousands of years.
This book is dedicated to IA – the traditional Romanian blouse, which is one of the most valuable pieces of collective design created by Romanian people, similar to what a kimono is for the Japanese or saree for the Indians. It is an ingression into history, ethnography and creativity, rendered in an accessible and eloquent manner, based on the examples of traditional Romanian blouses recently embroidered in the framework of the ”MaiestrIA in Action Club”, a group created two years ago in Chisinau for women passionate about IA.
The book comprises more than 400 pictures with details of Romanian traditional blouses sewn nowadays, as well as more than one hundred year – old pieces of traditional costumes’ collections, photographed in diverse landscapes and locations from all over the world.
The uniqueness of this book stays in the freedom with which the IA was removed from the patterns peculiar to museum-like combinations, attempting to show a different way of wearing it today in order to transmit it to the generations to come. Above all, it is intended to be a practical guide that decodes the meanings of the ornaments, renders the archaic embroidery techniques through graphic illustrations and teaches one how to embroider an authentic Romanian blouse or men’s shirt in a correct and responsible manner. This book also provides precious information about the differences between an authentic traditional blouse and the artisanal wannabes, types of traditional blouses belonging to different ethnographic areas as well as practical tips on storage and taking care of collection costumes.
The book starts with a chapter dedicated to the life and activity of several leading figures from Romanian culture, who wore and promoted IA with dignity throughout different periods in the history, and it ends with a glossary of old words and terms related to the Romanian traditional costume.
”IA – the Story of a Masterpiece” is a perfect present for whomever is fond of its roots and who is willing to find inspiration in our predecessors’ tradition, as well as for everybody who is curious to discover the real sense and meaningfulness of the genuine Romanian IA.
”This book is a beauty album dedicated to the Romanian traditional blouse IA, as well as to all those who are willing to start embroidering, but hesitate to do the first step. I tried to bring forward the genuine Romanian shirts sewn currently by active women who may only dedicate time for this calling either late at night or early in the morning. Today we no longer need to sew our clothes, but we rather do it with pure pleasure. Embroidery brings clarity into our minds and connects us to the Sky and the Earth. It is only our own IA sewn by our hands that transforms us in creators, teaches us to meditate and renews us forever ”, Stela Moldovanu says.
Details about the book:
Dimensions: 24 x 30 x 3 cm
Paperback: 448 pages
Weight: 2.6 kg
Published in 2020 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova