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RE-STITCH Design Contest

The Re-STITCH design contest was called on for students participating in the STITCH learning activities from the Universities of: UFO, MOME and Hacer Creativo.

The students created different design proposals with european traditional dress as inspiration for their collections. The proposed collections where evaluated by the jury and the final winner was announced at the Re-STITCH event in june 2022.


Below, the proposal & collection by Zsofia Papp, the Re-STITCH Design Contest winner, a Design student from MOME






“My aim is to give contemporary expression to folk art, to preserve the values of traditional folk dressmaking and decoration, and to integrate them into contemporary culture and fashion.”

– Zsófia Papp


F L O W E R Y  S P E E C H – Folk art as a transgenerational heritage

by Zsófia Papp


” I have been closely connected to folk culture since my childhood.

I was a folk dancer for 20 years.

In this project I deal with the transgenerational cultural heritage encoded in folk symbols. In a previous project I studied the development of the decorative arts in Kalocsa. The evolution of the Kalocsa designs shows the continuous change of folk art, as the different periods build on each other as each generation adds they own version.

After this study i started experimenting to create my own version.

I will look at the development of decorative arts and the meaning of folk symbols. Encoded in the symbols of folk art is our cultural heritage, which is an expression of a common identity. It is a symbolic message that passed down from generation to generation through tradition.

In the folk art, they used patterns and colours to encode and communicate messages. Besides beauty, at first, they had to show the truth. By exploring the levels of meaning in the motifs, I am looking for a link between the modern world and our folk traditions.


The peasantry draws a parallel between human life and the forces of nature, and the eternal cycle of nature. These metaphors, help them to understand and express human life. Folk ornamentation, is the visual representation of oral communication. In folk crafts and in folk poetry, they expressed their experiences of life and their understanding of the world in “flower language”, without direct words, just using natural metafors.


The ornamentation is itself symbolic, with the flowers and leaves opening symbolising life in the making, the cycle of life and its constant renewal, and the continuity of culture. The tree of life, and floral ornamentation flowing upwards from the flower pot is a symbol connecting heaven and earth, physical and spiritual reality. The tulip is a feminine symbol. Different shapes represent the different stages of a woman’s life. The heart motif, what came from the amber leaf, is the male symbol. Fire, water and wind, as great forces of nature, are symbols of the soul in folk art. These are often represented visually by wavy lines, which can be seen mainly in the composition of folk decorative arts. These symbols appear in two different ways in my collection. The jacquard patterns feature floral ornamentation, a symbol of the flow of culture and tradition, of constant renewal. The flower, as a feminine attribute, is a symbol of the feminine creative and vital force, which is passed down from generation to generation in the “flower language” of embroidery. It is also a symbol of the unfolding of life and the inseparable unity of the ancient relationship between nature and human.

In textiles that made on hand knitting machines the wavy line appears as a symbol of soul and the forces of nature and the continuity of life and culture. In traditional folk culture, colours also had an important symbolic meaning. In the collection I use the colours of the old Kalocsa patterns. In the folk culture, red is the symbol of the soul and life, and blue and green are the symbols of the physical body and earth. Pink and red were usually the colours of youth, while blue and green were often symbols of old age, death and mourning. In the shaping of clothes I used the principles of folk dressmaking. I designed the clothes from simple basic shapes without tailoring. I have tried to create a collection that takes its inspiration from folk costumes and evokes them in certain details, but is also in tune with contemporary fashion and actual trends. My aim is to give contemporary expression to folk art, to preserve the values of traditional folk dressmaking and decoration, and to integrate them into contemporary culture and fashion. “

Below the collection on the runway during the RE-STITCH show in Zaragoza (June ’22):


Some of the other collections by participating students from the 3 Universities:


‘Nina’ by Alba Vicente 


‘Tranga’ by Belén Ruiz


‘Raices’ by Cristina Arrese 


‘Voluez-vous de plus’ by Esther Becerra



‘Libre comme I’ by Luisa Casaburi 


‘Rural Rock’ by Patricia Bernal 



‘Paula Tobías’ by Bella Tranga 



‘Raices’ by Sara Lafuente 


‘Indo’ by Valerie Camacho 


Lucázás – Saint Lucy’s tradition by Eszter Kain



KIVETKŐZÉS – “out-dressing” by Laura Toth 



Merchandise by Elja Muca