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Semiotics of White Spaces on the Romanian Traditional Blouse, the IA

Romanian Journal of Communications and Public Relations. 2017;18(3):49-63 DOI 10.21018/rjcpr.2016.3.215


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Romanian Journal of Communications and Public Relations

ISSN: 1454-8100 (Print); 2344-5440 (Online)

Publisher: National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), College of Communication and Public Relations, Bucharest

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics: Communication. Mass media

Country of publisher: Romania

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Ioana Corduneanu (“Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism)

Nicolae Sorin Drăgan (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

In this article we understand the Romanian traditional blouse IA as a multi-dimensional semiotic object, with a complex semiotic structure. We will examine the structure and interpretation of semiotic borders and white spaces on IA, from the perspective of Lotman’s semiotic theory of culture. The white spaces found on our shirts may carry out messages equally important as those expressed by the sewn signs. Not only they define the rhythm, allowing the patterns to breathe, but sometimes they have their own story to tell. The white spaces also come to define the community you belong to, if your age allows you to wear an ornated shirt. The lack of white spaces on the shirts of other ethnic minorities living alongside us may be a hint of their fears and insecurities: they tend to fill in the entire shirt with protective talismans, to make sure they are safe. In some circumstances, as it happens with the shirts from the shores of Nistru River, the white space is a warning. Yet the most interesting subject is to consider and compare the way that these white spaces are “read” and appreciated in our days, after all women had been influenced by the fashion industry and the communication in printed and social media. We like it or not, this influenced our way to define concepts such as “aesthetic”, “elegant”, “luxurious” or “refined”.