When asked about the connection between the human spirit and its explorations of the past, the Russian existentialist, Nikolai Berdyaev, answered that traditions are a communion with historical mysteries. It is to be understood that mystery is an eternal aspect of life, created by human nature itself through its limitation of not being all-knowing. Even so, Man has always aspired to the transcendental, to knowledge – both self-knowledge and learning about his surroundings – as well as to a connection to his own past. Traditions have always been a portal for the self to travel into the past, visit ancestors that he has never met but who have left humanity with a rich inheritance, from the smallest of family traits to rituals so old that we don’t even question them anymore.
Iutta was born out of such an exploration of tradition, first on the metaphysical level of using old Romanian motifs and second on the physical level of being part of an artistically-inclined family. The deeper we look into the past, the more we understand why we do the things we do. There are some who forget that the traditions of Romania cast long shadows that easily sweep over medieval rulers, Roman armies, even Dacian craftsmen, going as far back as the Mesopotamian culture, considered one of the oldest in the world, and even further.
The Cucuteni culture is more often than not the title it is given, while Cucuteni-Trypillia is the official historical title referring to a surface of land that spanned most of today’s Romania, The Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. An ancient European civilization whose vestiges have been found on Romanian land, the Cucuteni culture precedes Sumerian and Ancient Egyptian settlements by hundreds of years, with archaeological proof showing an advanced civilization for the year 4500 BC. Iutta was inspired by the traces left behind this lost civilization through their objects of art and worship, particularly painted ceramics and sculptures, as well as their cult for a maternal Goddess, a feminine ideal of the mother who gives birth to humanity.
The NEO collection was inspired by this art. One of the predominant motif in Cucuteni art is the spiral which we used as a restyled image of rebirth, womanhood and harvest, and represents a metaphor of life itself, seen as a consequence of the union between masculine and feminine. Often interpreted as the portrayal of the sun, this graphic element can be translated as the epitome of evolution and of a life-death-rebirth continuity. Enchanted by the mystical nuances of neolithic sculptures embellished with spirals, snakes, circles and rhombus materialized as a symbol of life force, we designed the PIE bag in order to capture the mystical meaning of this symbol.
The myth of the labyrinth is also central to the Cucuteni civilization’s art. This pattern is combined with that of the central circle surrounded by small triangles and forms a key element of the pagan cult of the sun, which stimulates us to experience the warmth and the enlightening power of the rays sent and stored as vital energy coming a higher dimension. In order to guide our wearers through the labyrinth of day-to-day life, we created the ETA bag as a lucky charm.
The NEO collection was always meant to show the deeper meaning of our embroideries and how they can touch any soul, regardless of where it was brought up into this world. What is your lucky charm, lovely wearers?