BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's latest hot fashion item? The traditional peasant blouse.
The garment dates back centuries but it disappeared from sight during the communist era, as authorities tried to stamp out rural traditions. Now the blouse is making a comeback — even featuring in the presidential campaign.
The revival of the "ie" (EE-yeh) — seen everywhere these days on the streets of the capital — is a sign that Romanians are returning to their roots a quarter century after the Soviet collapse. The blouse is an intricately embroidered gossamer-thin garment originally worn by Byzantine nobles in the sixteenth century and later adopted by peasants.
It's something Prime Minister Victor Ponta wove into his campaign ahead of the Nov. 2 vote, with his campaign posters features peasant blouses bearing the red, yellow and blue of the Romanian flag.
"It's a message saying 'this candidate is the leader of Romanians,'" ethnographer Bianca Ciobanu said at the National Peasant Museum, which was closed in communist days. "It's has been re-invented, worn with skirts or jeans, urbanized, but it's ... good we are seeing it again."