The 7 BEST designer Hungarian totes

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There was never any doubt that I love bags, nor is there any that I never liked mass produced pieces from huge brands. For years now I’ve been wearing Hungarian designed bags on my shoulders and in my hands. These totes I would recommend for everyday use. They’re big, you can pack stuff in them, and most importantly, they’re cute!…And they’re perfect as Christmas presents! 
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My personal Christmas wishlist

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My Christmas wishlist is ready! I actually stuck to the promise I made last year. I decided that I would never ask for anything that had anything to do with housekeeping: no more kitchen appliances, cookbooks and other housekeeping aids (I also wrote about this in my blog last year, but I cheated. This year I was most strict!). If I can ask for presents, then they should be about me. I’ve received cookbooks for so many years in a row, that I still use today, but this always ended up with me running to the store between the two holidays to try out a new flavor combination. Now I’m consciously preparing for a relaxed vacation and will only take a cookbook into my hands before the holidays.
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A visual tour of the Budapest Wine Festival

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My decision to go to the wine festival was based as much out of a desire to spend a nice afternoon in the Buda castle as it was to learn a bit more about Hungarian wines.  This small country has a rich history and variety of wine from its 22 different wine districts, but I have to admit that despite my superficial acknowledgement of the famous Villany district reds and the classic Tokaj dessert wines, I was (and remain) relatively clueless. [Read more…]

Powder pink and black outfit

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This winter, pastel is taking charge again. Ok, so we shouldn’t dress from head to toe in candy colors, but a nice sand colored or black piece paired with light shades seems like a perfect choice. Because I like strong contrasts, I’m giving an example of the latest with, as per usual, places to buy them and prices. [Read more…]

Styling Identities and Fashion: Romani Design

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Part social enterprise and part fashion brand, Romani Design is a collection of Roma folk dress inspired fashion promoting social tolerance, responsibility, and Roma culture. Erika Varga has worked with Roma youth her entire life, instilling pride and awareness about their cultural background and identity in a community crippled by prejudice. Romani Design is her latest project that endeavors to open a strong communication channel that peers and youths alike can respect, look up to, and take inspiration from. Taking notes from Roma traditional folk dress and replanting them in modern shapes and lines, Erika succeeds again and again at reimagining age-old tradition and bestowing it with contemporary cultural relevance.

Romani design is not only making waves in the Roma community but also turning heads in the Hungarian fashion world. I met with the label’s vibrant prints, blossoming embroidery, and modern silk cuts at Marie Claire Fashion Days, Budapest, as both Hungarian and Hungarian Roma models queued up to show off the collection during the event’s final Sunday lineup. Aptly named My Identity-My Freedom, this year’s collection is Erika’s favorite, but it’s been a long road of learning, cooperation, and organization to build this channel.

I originally sat down with Erika at Romani’s downtown salon and studio to learn more about her bohemian, embroidered prints, but what I emerged with after a warm, inspiring chat was a vision of social equality, Roma cultural pride, and cross-cultural cooperation.

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