Conscious that she is lucky to work doing what she loves most, Erika Manolache designs and makes unique and often personalised clothing with a classic but cheeky style.
Erika started sewing when she was only 14 years old, during the Romanian Communist regime, when it was difficult to find clothes that the two local dressmakers didn’t make. Nostalgic, she explains that she couldn’t even buy a pair of jeans, something she didn’t own until she was 18, and that was thanks to a friend from Germany. Without instructions or patterns, she followed her intuition to make a kind of blouse that was trendy at that time. Later, after the Romanian Revolution in 1989, which put an end to the Communist government, she was able to get ideas from the German pattern magazine Burda. Erika has been living in Catalonia since 2005, when she fell in love with the country while on holiday and decided to leave Romania.
When Erika starts creating a garment, she looks first to the quality of the fabric and then fashions her designs from silk, wool, viscose or linen.
1. Sewing threads. Made with cotton or polyester, they are an indispensable item for a dressmaker.
2. Patterns. They may seem simple sheets but hide the design that will guide the dressmaking of some wonderful garments.
3. Satin bias binding, which gives ponchos a good finish.
4. Silk ribbon, used to decorate skirts and collars.
5. Tape measures and scissors, two simple but essential tools.
6. Leather cuts, usually used to make bags.
7. Elastic band. It is put in the waists of trousers and skirts due to its capacity of adaptation.
8. Raw silk, to make pillows and curtains.
9. Jade. These stones are both useful to decorate and hold the pattern on top of the fabric.
10. Art works. Erika bought old etchings that show pictures from an old fashion magazine and framed them.
11. Orange bag, made with an Indian fabric.
12. Red dress, made out of crepe.
13. Hanger rack , with some of her wonderful creations.
- Catalonia Today 04-03-2018 Pàgina 16