To Hold Your Heart in Your Teeth: The Visual Language of the Romanian Blouse

‘To Hold Your Heart In Your Teeth’ is a Romanian proverb that means to brave forward despite fear.

Made by generations of women, the folk garment of the Romanian blouse secured its language through times of fierce changes. This book is a cultural-historical biography of the blouse, from Neolithic beginnings in northeastern Romania and western Ukraine, through the period of folk revival, the communist era, and the post-communist immigration out of the region.

Weaving personal narrative with this historical research, Simona BortiČ™-Schultz, author and designer of this book, is a New York-based child of this immigration.

‘To Hold Your Heart In Your Teeth’ is an homage as it stands in solidarity with generations of resilient women, writing out the design qualities of this feminine fortitude, and the charm of the garment they made to survive.