Time for the second instalment of my Romanian adventures, mes amies! Aaaaaand once again I’m overwhelmed by the urge to get away ASAP; purely for work oriented, non personal lols motivated purposes of course. Anyway, as I mentioned in my previous travel diary there is a lot to do, see and enjoy in the city and we tried our damnedest to make the most of that. So, Bucharest Pt.2 let’s go…
As I also mentioned last time, I wasn’t exactly super familiar with Bucharest before Holly and I headed out there. In a new city you know little about it can be difficult to know what to do or where to go. Obviously you can Google the hell out of it and hit up a few guide books, both of which are admittedly good options that will help you avoid wandering around totally aimlessly or missing out on a place’s major attractions. However, they probably won’t equip you with the insider info or connections needed to experience something every other visitor won’t and unless you know a few locals (which we did not) doing so can be damn near impossible. That is, without the a little help. Luckily for us, help was at hand courtesy of InterContinental’s ingenious “Insider Experiences” program. Painstakingly curated to showcase the extraordinary relationship between InterContinental’s most iconic properties and the cities in which they live, “Insider Experiences” provide the opportunity to discover aspects of a place many visitors would never even know exist. In Bucharest, these experiences span art, gastronomy and fashion. It was the latter we opted for first, obviously.
I’m going to be honest with you. Being the ignorant idiot I am, I didn’t initially have the highest of hopes for our visit to Dan Coma & Doina Levintza’s atelier. A quick glance at the Dan Coma website began to change that. Seconds after meeting Dan and having my first glimpse of his incredible leather goods, I was floored by what I saw. It’s ridiculous to hold on to the notion that only traditional “fashion cities” play home to talented designers and craftspeople who produce exquisite luxury items. I learned my lesson that morning!
So, a little info for you. Dan Coma’s grandfather, Dumitru Coma, was born in 1882 in Silistea. His talent and dedication have led to a major tanning house, which was named after him. The passion for discovering the natural leather’s beauty through its processing was interrupted by the course of history. Thanks to Dan’s the brand returned in 1992 under the name “Dacoma” and 14 years later is producing more beautiful pieces than ever.
Coma’s work and world are both very unique and in fact, totally fitting for what luxury many consumers crave today. In an oversaturated and ever more fast paced market, coupled with a decrease in disposable income for many, the past couple of years have seen luxury consumers increasingly searching for quality, integrity and timelessness. Craftsmanship, uniqueness and are increasingly central considerations for anyone investing in, say, an expensive handbag. Indeed, the criminally over used phrase “investment buy” has never been more apt. Given that Dacoma eschews trends in favour of celebrating exclusive materials and embracing a varied range of eclectic inspirations with the aim of restoring the beauty of the artisanal product, there couldn’t be a better moment to get to know the brand.
Holly and I certainly had a ball getting to know the lovely Dan and the atelier that occupies most of his home. It truly is a treasure trove of fascinating objects, images, books, paintings, antiques and of course, Dacoma creations. From archive Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi pieces to a mini museum installation of accessories dating back centuries and a traditional Romanian kitchen, there couldn’t have been more to feast our eyes on. We practically had to be dragged away!
Huge thanks to Dan Coma and InterContinental Hotels for such an amazing experience. More Bucharest tales coming soon!
Love Ella. X
Images by Holly McGlynn