Diary of Fashion Week- part 1
By Chava Kuchar
Alon Livne, Israeli designer and biggest asset at fashion week with a showroom in Tel Aviv and New York, was the first to show at fashion week. A perfect pick to start the show because he drew many to fashion week only to completely surprise everyone with his made to order grunge ‘plastic fantastic’ collection.
Different from the feminine form driven tailoring that he is known for, this collection was completely different in form and function. This colorfully hued collection was made from plastic, pvc, leather and steel and was aimed at both men and women. Left of trend, his inspiration was drawn from the 90’s Pop and Rock culture and was driven home by the supporting star- custom made accessories by Efrat Causto with Livne.
In spite of everyone’s surprise, the collection was holistically & conceptually rich and perfectly resolved. Exceeding expectations is a hard thing to do and I felt the surprise quickly give rise to an excitement about what else would be delivered this fashion week.
I have always liked Lara Rosnovsky’s designs from a distance. I found the combination of her eclectic prints far too overwhelming in the frenetic and busy nature of her stores, but beautiful in the form of an individual piece or an outfit.
This is why I was so happily surprised by the collection today which was conceptually rich in its perfectly complimentary colours, rich graphics and the best accessories- quilted metallic pouches and macramé clutches and bags and moses slides. Her collection was ready to wear, borderline resort wear in its pervasive comfort. Its diversity was it’s greatest strength, from soft tailored striped suits to maxi dresses to kaftans to play suits and the more sophisticated black leather and macreme outfits which evoke the nightlife.
The Magnolia jewelry, again a brand I have had little to do with, was quite striking and flattered the collection perfectly. However, it was the final moment of the show that really moved me, when Lara brought out her daughter onto the runway following the finale. Both a proud mother of a beautiful young woman and a deserving collection.
Note: Following the show, I asked Lara whose idea it was to bring her daughter out and she said "it was my idea, as a way of repaying her for the insanity of the last couple months preparing for the show" and when I asked her daughter how she felt, she said she felt "so amazing". And then so did we.
So I was very excited to see Holyland’s show, first one there, first one seated, first row, the musicians enter, great choice, an alternative electric version of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows”, send in the sharman with the incense (ok?! Cute!?). Enter models.
Edgy streetwear, easy to wear, fun accessories in the form of some tight sneakers and bottle holder bags. There was however, little to no concept of ‘the holy’ that have been present in their previous collections, but their edge was still strong and I still believe that they are an authentic Israeli streetwear label that is capable of carrying beyond these shores to other urban centers.
So in short I liked it, it was edgy, clean, a nice juxtaposition to the earlier shows and although I wish they had a stronger conceptual edge this season, they certainly still had an aesthetic one.
Note: I learnt later in conversation with the designers that the collection was called Tohu wa-bohu (תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ), their transliteration it seems having been taken from Wikipedia. This saying, printed on their sleeves, is from the bible (torah) describing the condition of the universe before creation- roughly translated to ‘without form, and void’. After learning that, I went back to the collection to look for the concept evident within it and did not find it all. If I am being honest, no matter how much I like their stuff, I don’t think it’s enough to superficially play significant ideas and pass them off as bigger than they are (or arn't).
Sometimes when you’re a fan, the worse thing is to see behind the curtain.
Shenkar’s show was another show I was really excited about having found past students, now designers that I love from their previous shows like Shachar Avnet and Kobi Golan. And it didn’t fail to please this time; showcasing their current students in the most fun way and I was excited by the variety and in some places the calabre.
The show started with some speeches, most probably informative, however completely in Hebrew so very hard to understand for me personally (I can’t imagine its use to the other international visitors), however the film introducing the students and staff was evocative and energetic, the perfect way to start the show.
Whilst it would have been useful to have listed the students works as they came down the runway (for reference), I have included images of those designs I felt were the most conceptually and aesthetically resolved, showing the most promise.
*In time, I will try and track down the designers and share them with you.
The nicest part for the show was the conclusion where students, models, lecturers and a hugely supportive audience ran onto the catwalk and literally partied until they cleared the tent. It was very nice, very amusing and very Israeli.
Hofrot Hayetzurot- Turning Tables
There has been a constant thread of womanhood, pluralism and empowerment throughout the day. Whether it was the opening video which played before every show #Iheartme or the endearing moment when Lara Rosonovsky brought her daughter out at the finale following her uber successful ready to wear show. Not least of all was the Shenkar school of design student's show, whose designs were worn by model, student and lecturer alike, which were met with such love and support from the crowd. The day had been moving in the way you hope fashion can move you.
But the most important show of the day was the finale and least crowded show by Yvel Jewellery and the Hofrot HaYotzrot organization, who’s designs were the products of the graduates of their professional training for women who have left the circles of addiction and prostitution. The organization’s studio strives to ensure their graduates realize their rights, receive assistance and rehabilitation. Under "Makers", the program’s label, which produces t-shirts, bags and other textile products, Hofrot HaYotzrot, aims to help provide the necessary skills needed to move forward and develop a method of livelihood for these women.
The show started with many speeches, which again should have been translated for international visitors, as the very important nature of the show was lost on many until after they had seen the show and it was explained. Lucky for my minimal Ivrit (Hebrew) because I couldn't imagine thinking these garments created were the failings of a seasoned designer rather than the achievements of a new found life.
The show started with the rehabilitated designers taking the catwalk together with slogans such as ‘I am not for sale’ and ‘person’ written on their tops. Following this, a variety of women, of all ages and sizes walked the runways in black dresses, with pride and enthusiasm for the project they were involved in, all wearing the sponsor Yvel’s Jewelry. With each new dress that came out I felt overwhelmed with the fact that each dress equated with another woman having suffered and overcome. As I said, it was an important show, our congratulations to all involved and we were thrilled to have been present for it.