Diary of Fashion Week- part 3
By Chava Kuchar
Two things that I learnt about myself during this show is that, (1) I don’t read labels properly and (2) I was in great company. The first model comes out and I say to the beautiful Taral (@teralatilan) on my left that ‘I didn’t know this was a jewelry collection’ to which Taral incredulously responds ‘but there was a ring on the invitation?!’
And after a couple other models come out, my other side, Robbie (@thousandyardstyle) says “it reminds me of a byzantinian chandelier” and you know what, it really did.
Anyways, to speak directly to the collection, Maya Geller’s work was truly impressive. The construction and solidity of the outerwear together with the piece's freedom of movement was a feat. I enjoyed the chained dresses, the outer-garment inspired Pannier’s and those pieces reminiscent of both lingerie and Lara Croft, both soft and feminine and fiercely futuristic.
It was fitting that Geller got a stand-alone collection, because the enormity of the collection felt more couture and less like the jewelry you would expect on the side of a regular collection. However, I was left wondering whether perhaps, the pieces would have been better showcased with a designer like Vivi Bellaish or juxtaposed with a complimentary McQueen like voluminous garments than the ill-fitting tan bodysuits and old army boots (inspired) that it was actually teamed with so that we could better imagine the combined aesthetic of an outfit.
More established, young design houses: Mews, Hili Ari and Northern Star
Mews was exciting, Mews is exciting! If it wasn’t for the fact that half the tinsel garments were left one the floor I would have exclaimed “hurrah” for the first time during the event. Gal Shenfeld, the designer, had been revealing select details about the collection in the lead up to fashion week. It was called “Heroes” and I knew nothing more than to expect a collection with serious planning.
Had I guessed anything, I would have been wrong, it was black and silver, mesh and text and tinsel, so much tinsel and it was fabulous. We saw a Mews hero march down the runway, certain in her confidence, bounce in her step and the thrilling movement of black shimmer. I can’t say I ever like a text heavy piece, but in this case they balanced the highly textured fabric nicely.
Shenfeld’s precision in her designs and details were flawless and balanced. On some garments, just a stripe of tinsel film and on others the entire garment followed its model like one of Nick Cave’s creations. I hope to find some time to visit her showroom and try everything on!
Hili Ari’s “Tuesday Paranoia” collection was minimal and very Parisian chic. Designed by the duo, Hili, the designer and Ari, the creative director/ editor, we saw a lot of clean lines and Hedi Slimane (Dior Homme) like tailoring.
There was a clear distinction between the masculine and the feminine is the collection and there was also a more interesting space between those. Even though the collection was refined and well consolidated visually, I would have liked to better understand the relation to the name of the collection and the collection and seen a deeper exploration of that androgynous space.
Not knowing anything about Northern star before this show, Nadav Rosenberg’s designs are Israel’s answer to Australia’s Gorman; cute and quirky. I personally hate pastels but liked the designed pieces and the general aesthetic of the collection- sweet and different bags, great shoes and I liked the soft tailoring and loose forms of his garments designs.
What is worth noting is that the collection was huge and it catered to both menswear and womenswear which was unexpected and very impressive.
These two sister’s collection was on point- personally design fabrics, perfect colour pallete, conservatively modern with feminine tailoring, quilted bags and matching boots. A really extensive and cohesive collection.
It was also the first collection the international buyers were excited about*, even though some of the editors felt it was too similar to everything they had just seen on the international fashion week collection, I think we should take the win. All I will add to this conversation is that it was very nice to see a collection made completely from concept to textiles to production here in Israel (Sample designed and produced their own textiles in Italy, but it is manufactured in Israel*)
*All collections showed at fashion week were made here in Israel but rely on what materials are already produced and available here in Israel or import them.
* Since we published this article, Sample A/W2018 collection has been seen on the US hit series Empire under the costume designer Paolo Nieddu (2018)
So you have never seen such an audience such as this- it was the trashiest of the vlogasphere meets the, lets call them, the Avant Garde. When you thought Tel Aviv hadn’t reached its craziest heights, you walk into this space and see how very wrong you are.
I hadn’t but walked in and rather than the seeing evidence of the rebel streetwear label with a hint of yohji yahmomoto-deconstructored tailoring that I had come to like, I saw that NouveauRicheDog certainly lived up to it’s name. If this audience was anything to go by, I wasn’t sure what this show had in store for us.
And then a dog walked on stage and I was even less excited.
Musician, model, lollipop and repeat. Ehh.
Then the one of a kind leather jackets came on and I was like finally, take your lollipop and give me one of those!
Maoz Dahan and his fellow designer/ artist came out, the crowd went wild, they lapped it up (excuse the pun). However, for me personally, the edgiest part of the collection was the music. Perhaps, had they played with their text, textures (woven ropes) and line more there would have been something edgier there, but with an audience as thirsty as theirs maybe they don’t need to try harder.
*Note: A couple days before the show, I saw Dahan picketing in Tel Aviv over the government's gross mismanaging of taxes in the textile industry, favoring offshore commerce. Read more about it in News. It may look like tongue in cheek, but it just goes to show they stand up for what they believe in.
In the past, there has been an aesthetic richness to Myor’s designs that evidence an appreciation of the formal qualities of tailoring and conceptual depth of couture, but none of that was seen in this show. The Fuck Love collection was basic and uninspired and maybe it was my intolerance of the event as the days went on, but if you were looking for the cheapest materials and the least exciting designs, they could be found here.
The introductory video tried too hard, the models wore seemingly unfinished looks, or pieces that failed to stand alone, things were too shiny and there were rogue and cheaply made flowers found in odd places. I will say that in spite of this, the full Balenciaga-like over shoe stocking was fun, although pants they did not make and the leather look garments were well tailored. I especially liked the feather jacket and silver leggings. The most redeeming pieces were the two last jackets, they reminded me that he was designing to an international AW18 level, however Myor should have stopped there and not continued to the unexciting red dress at the end that seemed more like an afterthought than a strong place to end on.
I was going to leave before this show but I was told by most to stay for ‘Vivi’, that he is known for his atelier quality design and tailoring and worthy of the finale.
From Bellaish's quilted jackets paired with lace and flowing crepe dresses in shades of browns, golds, green and white and black, his collection had an organic feel to it. Small bows played up the uber femininity of the collection while the unusual quilted pieces added the interest that was necessary to it. I can say with honesty that I was both happy I stayed and that there is with certainty something more sophisticated and resolved in his designs than most of the others we saw. The veteran Israeli designer was most definitely deserving of his title and the schute (privilege) of punctuating this 3 day fashion marathon.