An ode to the stewards of modest dress who have come to pass
By Dinah Kraus
In Israel, the 'Basis' refers to a dress, skirt, or top that is worn under another dress, skirt or top, to make it fulfill modesty requirements. In 2012, Mecha'at HaBasis, ‘Protest against the Basis', started campaigning for 'modest' designers to actually sell clothing that fulfilled halachic requirements. Initially, when they started their facebook page, there were a multitude of local 'modest' brands, appealing to the religious market. However, the clothing they sold was almost always paired with additional layers; a top underneath for longer sleeves and higher neckline, a skirt with a layer of lace at the bottom to lengthen hemlines, a full 'basis' for under a sleeveless mini dress etc. These combinations were heavy, expensive and the opposite of fashionable. Mecha’at HaBasis, started curating looks and clothes that would inspire girls and women to look beyond these brands, to show them that there were other options that didn't require '80 layers' and that much more affordable. After their immediate success, rather than boycotting the existing modest designers, they created a campaign to encourage them to fulfill the needs of the modest dresser without the taxing cost of excessive and unfashionable material. Their unprecedented success proved that this was both needed and desired.
Over the course of the next 5 years, Mecha'at HaBasis developed from its first intonation of mainly ASOS outfits, into a flourishing page advocating for the many Israeli designers who took up the call for change. Last month however, they officially closed their page. With a massive following (28,000+ on fb), they announced that, after 5 years of loving dedication, they had achieved their goal – that there was now a surplus of designers who had made this market flourish and an obvious decline in women wearing the 'basis'.
We thank them for their tireless work and wish them success in their future endeavors.
Some of the designers who were inspired and shaped by the Mecha'at HaBasis protocol;
Designers in order from the first image
(1) Lidosa by Lidar Saar (https://www.lidosa.com)
(2) Sde Bar (https://sdebar.co.il)
(3) Hodaya Luvitch (https://www.hodayaluvich.com)
(4) Hadas (https://www.hadas.co.il)
(5) Amanda K (http://www.amanda-k.com)
(6) Linor Abargil (https://www.lyafashion.co.il)
(7) Skye Green (https://skyegreen.com)
(8) Arabesqua (https://www.etsy.com/il-en/shop/ARABESQUA)
(9) Chaya Hecht (https://market.marmelada.co.il/chayahecht)
(10) Paz Magen (http://www.pazmagen.com)
(11) Shirel Avrahami (http://www.shirelavrahami.com)
(12) Yael Rozmarin (https://market.marmelada.co.il/yaelrozmarin)