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Roma fashion staged in Hungary

09-26-2010 08:45 BJT

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Erika Varga always dreamed of creating jewelry and clothing based on Roma traditions that would also appeal to the general public.

After years of planning and hoping, Varga's Romani Design label has had its first major fashion show in Budapest. It raised consciousness on the catwalk in a region where being a member of a minority community is far from trendy.

These models strutting down the catwalk are showing off outfits influenced by design motifs from the Roma, or Gypsy community.

Such design themes have often been in vogue on the runways of Paris or Milan, but this time the designer behind them, Erika Varga, is herself a Roma.

She's using the styles to promote her own culture and to help combat the ever-growing negative stereotypes associated with it.

Models presented the debut collection of clothing and jewelry from Varga's Romani Design, Hungary's first Roma fashion label, in an evening show at the Budapest Applied Arts Museum.

Outfits on show incorporated or were inspired by traditional Roma clothing items, such as aprons and scarves.

The handmade silver jewelry worn by the models features stylized forms of good luck symbols - horseshoes, lentils, or four-leaf clovers - that are prominent in traditional Roma culture.

Erika Varga, jewelry & clothing designer, said, "I've been working for 20 years teaching people about Roma culture, but using other forms and other means of communication, and for me fashion is a new direction and a new artistic language - and I can see right away that it's much more effective than what I've done in previous years."

At Varga's show, six amateur Roma models from Budapest were joined by four professional models on the catwalk.

Varga wishes that such a fashion show can somewhat ease the deeply-ingrained prejudice against her community.

Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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