Diary of Fashion Week- part 2
By Chava Kuchar
Twenty Four Seven
First of all, to date it was the best choreographed fashion show at the event (which is hard to do given that all shows were held in the same tent, on the same catwalk and against the same screen). In the weeks gearing up to the event, Twenty Four Seven, together with Motty Reif productions ran an open calling across the country for girls to walk this runway, they found 120 women ranging from 16 – 40 years of age, all sizes, all colours and as it turns out, abilities. It was was another opportunity to show Israel’s diversity and pluralism and it was done well (search #love_the_skin_u_r_in #lovetheskinyourin).
I can’t speak to the clothes because they appeared to be tween oriented, mass produced imports, but the event itself was very impressive with girls walking on from every direction, around and in between each other without a hitch. Just when you thought it was over, more women walked on and then off stage again. And then a young woman walked on with her walking frame and the audience, already enthralled stood up and gave her a tremendous applause and support which would have been so much more moving if the music hadn’t just switched over to the Prodigy’s “smack my bitch up”, which entirely undermined the intention of the show for me.
In spite of this, the show was an enjoyable feat. The models and the choreography undeniably overwhelmed whatever they were wearing, but I am not sure that that mattered so much.
So I only knew Dorin Frankfurt’s as the heavily structured collections from the last time I lived in Israel (2010), but it seems a couple years ago her aesthetic shifted for a softer and lighter tailoring. This was very evident in this season’s collection, a light ready to wear, tonal collection with bright, bold and youthful accessories- the earings were especially on point.
The pieces were lovely and the juxtaposition of the youthful models together with the more mature dresses kept it intriguing, but I especially enjoyed the Valentino style ending with a series of more formal red dresses. It would however, have been nice to have seen some jackets being that we were at an Autumn Winter collection.
Note: I learnt at the end of the day that Dorin Frankfurt is a mentor for the young upcoming designers that followed over the next two days, which is so lovely to hear that a seasoned designer is giving back and trying to shape the future for the better with her time and her locally made and manufactured campaign.
Upcoming designers: Ariel Bassan, Dana Cohen, Moriel Dezaldati and Shahar Avnett
Menswear is an underrepresented performa at fashion week so it was exciting to see a bit of variety in this show with Errant and Ariel Bassan’s collection. Unfortunately, Errant’s collection did not speak to me personally but I did love Bassan’s.
Ariel Basan is a menswear designer with a minimal and tailored aesthetic, before I go into what Basan shared about his collection I will say that in spite of the intended male audience, I would have worn almost everything in his collection.
Basan spoke to the press briefly after explaining that he tries to celebrate 'the classic male silhouette with a modern edge'. He shared that this season was inspired by Sol Lewitt, the father of minimalism- and he explained that “the strict and refined edge of Lewitt’s tonal works were important (for him)”. With its serious androgynous appeal, the Lewitt inspired abstract aesthetic was definitely evident in Ariel Basan’s collection.
This collection was small but a delight to the senses with some very beautiful pieces. Cohen’s pieces are, for all intense purpose, pieces of wearable art with hand machine knits and felted pieces in a range of colors. A collection that was deeply personal to the designer, the garments represented evidence of the overwhelming urban sprawl swallowing her families historically agricultural land and community- as evidenced by the serious amount of handcrafted work that would have been necessary to have created the jackets.
These jackets were classification inspired perfection.
I was told by Cohen that following fashion week her collection was enroute to an international Museum for its exemplary handcrafted work which does not at all surprise me.
(Since publishing this article, Cohen’s work has travelled to Japan and showed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem as part of a collection about Israel and fashion).
During my pre-show research, I began to really look forward to seeing what products would come from this textile alchemist this season and I wasn’t disappointed. We saw multi-tonal, multi-textured pieces take the form of sophisticated dresses and simpler, ready to wear sets. I loved the range, the knits and the stylish simplicity of the collection.
I actually saw Shahar Avnet’s drawings and collages before I saw her dresses. Then I came across an article about her in Vogue Italia and realized the designer and artist were one in the same. This was very exciting because personally my favorite type of fashion is the one where it’s unclear where the art ends and the fashion begins and her postmodern production in tulle and taffeta are to die for, literally.
I had the privilege of meeting Shahar (pronounced Sha-char) after her show and she was adorable with the enthusiastic energy one would come to expect from the designer of these pieces.
This collection was called Wonderland and between the contrasting styling, layers and the dresses it was theme apparent, however the unnecessary motifs, pompoms and clumsy accessories were more of a distraction than helpful. I would have preferred the models bare foot. But I will say her foray into digital printing and white wedding dresses was exciting- a fun alternative to the highly designed and embellished formal designs we have seen from the other designers so far.
And even though I will admit that I have enjoyed all of her work to date, I loved this collection a little less because I could see less of her hand in it- there were only 3 highly embellished pieces and the rest had smaller and less resolved details of her artistic expression.
(Note: In the year following this showcase- Shahar’s work has been seen on many beautiful and talented women, to name a few; Netta Barzilay, Chloe x Halle, Kelly Rowland and Beyonce…yes! Beyonce!)
I actually love Idan Laros’s Rebel romantic bridalwear meets it-girl meets demi-resort aesthetic, but in the lead up to Fashion week his Instagram feed revealed darker, more sophisticated and tailored ready to wear designs that seemed more likely worn by my very young grandmother. So I was relieved to see he had returned to ready to wear resort aesthetic.
I for one will never find fault with a white, black and leopard print collection, and the combination of his soft tailoring pieces, moses sandals and leopard print scarves was great. However, the uncut, unfinished scarves were a styling fail and rather distracting, every unkempt fringe provoked a search for some other tailoring fail. I am happy to tell you I found few but it was a shame.