Cult fashion journalist maps local creative scene

Newsroom 08/02/2010 | 14:04

Cult fashion journalist Diane Pernet was in Bucharest at the end of last year for a research trip looking to discover the best and most interesting of the local creative scene. The visit was made at the invitation of Romanian NGO add – Business Chance on Art with the help of a grant for foreign cultural journalists from the Romanian Cultural Institute in the Bucharest Calling initiative. “Through Bucharest Calling we try to bring to Bucharest for research visits journalist from influential publications from Paris, London, New York or Berlin and to create the image of a creative Romanian fashion scene,” says Erika Olea of add.

Although the focus of the research trip was the Romanian fashion scene, Pernet says she was interested in finding out more about local visual arts, music, product design and film. “I’m interested in Romanian fashion both as a cultural phenomenon and creative business, especially as Bucharest was recently coined as the new Berlin as it is enjoying a creative blossoming,” Pernet says.

Pernet worked for 13 years as a fashion creator based in New York and has been an established fashion journalist for the past 20 years. She has put together video portraits of creators such as Hussein Chalayan, Karl Lagerfeld and Azzedine Alaia, along with documentaries such as Fashioned Out for the Laffayette Galleries. In 2008 she launched the first fashion film festival in the world, A Shaded View on Fashion.

Pernet says that before coming to Bucharest she knew of fashion label Rozalb de Mura, but here she discovered “an eclectic creative scene that recalls the effervescent Berlin vibe,” but with marks of the city’s communist past and “the feeling that things are blocked that is different than any of the cities I’ve been to.”

Pernet noticed several names while visiting Bucharest, from a variety of creative disciplines. She mentions Anca Mihulet, mastermind of the Wakefield Meadows exhibition & curator of the Contemporary Art Gallery of Brukenthal Museum, along with visual artist Olivia Mihaltianu; Paul Negoescu, filmmaker, winner of a raft of awards for his short films Examen and Renovare; actress Catinca Untaru; and performer and musician Loredana.

The journalist says from all the meetings she had with various local creatives, financing emerged as the big obstacle, with “not many opportunities or sponsors for art and high-level fashion” currently in Romania.

When looking at the various types of local creative backgrounds that are most likely to develop and be recognized at an international level, Pernet mentions the music and art scenes.

“There are always talents that pop up from unexpected places that get big. Often it is necessary for them to leave their country and get an education elsewhere, then go back and see what they can do with that. I think that if you are really talented it does not matter where you live – with the help of the internet anyone can grow on an international level. The platform is there now, I suppose it all depends how you use it for exposure,” she says.

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