A MYRIAD OF SILHOUETTES AT TEL AVIV FASHION WEEK 2018

Between March 10 and 13 2018 took place the sixth annual Fashion Week in Tel Aviv, Israel. An occasion for the country’s small but dynamic fashion industry to show the world what its local designers are capable of, and place itself on the map. Meet 12 designers that count – and the talents from the Shenkar College of art, engineering and design, proving that the future is bright for Israeli fashion.

Three days. Twenty shows. A myriad of silhouettes, a whirlwind of colors. Tel Aviv Fashion Week was short, but intense. Three days do not seem like a lot, but no one can make them count like a small industry attempting to tell the world: “Hey! We’re here, and we’re here to stay!”. But carving itself a spot on the global fashion landscape doesn’t prevent the White City from doing things its own way. Here, the mood is light, joyful, miles and miles away from the stuck-up atmospheres of Paris or New York. Here, the excitement is palpable, and you can feel a constant eagerness for what’s about to come. Here, we cheer for our favorite looks, models come in all shapes and sizes, and more often than not, you’ll see them smiling. Here, in Tel Aviv, we are just beginning to find our voice, and it is unique. Meet the designers that will make it heard.

[1] Alon Livne

Alon Livne is one of the most established designers of the Tel Aviv fashion scene. His Fall/Winter collection – a collaboration between his studios in Tel Aviv and New York City- is said to have been inspired by the pop and rock culture of the 1990s, as well as by Tom of Finland’s homoerotic fetish paintings. As a matter of fact, the collection uses plenty of leather, but also suede, plastic, and even steel, creating looks with a rock’n’roll’ S&M edge. In what he describes as a tribute to David Bowie’s avant-gardism, the designer plays with gender boundaries, pushing them further and further. As a result, the lines between masculine and feminine are blurred, leaving only as a focus the tribute to punk rock.

[2] Dror Kotento

On a completely different note, Dror Kotento’s elegant silhouettes are an ode to the female body. His collection of cocktail dresses, pantsuits and bodysuits solely use black as a way to sublime the details: delicate lace, plays on transparency, cuts and slits revealing a leg here, a cleavage there… all while remaining refined. While some silhouettes follow the natural curves of the body and some others are heavier in frills, the waist always remains well-defined, making Kotento’s models the embodiment of feminine grace.

[3] Maya Geller

Maya Geller’s bejeweled dresses are unique in the level of craftsmanship they represent. More than clothes, they are wearable jewelry displayed on the body as a work of art. Placed on top of nude bodysuits, they surround the wearer with a golden aura. While the structure of some dresses are reminiscent of a knight’s under-armor, others play with volumes to appear as a cage from which the body is breaking free, revealing a woman that is delicate yet strong.

[4] Mews

Designer Gal Shenfeld’s all-black silhouettes play with volumes and materials to create a fluid movement, like a choreography that catches the eye right away. Inspired by the current zeitgeist, Shenfeld views her collection as a commentary about the fast fashion that we are all surrounded by. Her ambition is to make slow fashion, delivering “handmade fashion in a handmade future”. This future is composed of strong, assertive women, the “mew heroes” that walked the runway, empowered by the omnipresence of black and the fluidity of materials, liberating the movement. “And yet I still want to talk about fashion as a dream, and not just as simple ready-to-wear”, she explains. This dream, as we could see, is glimpse into the future.

[5] Rimma Romano X Reebok

Because one Israeli ambassador (Gal Gadot, as announced earlier this month) is never enough, Reebok is back with this collaboration with Israeli designer Rimma Romano. The stunning collection is an encounter between the cool sportswear vibe of Reebok and the elegance of a more chic and mature wardrobe. Blazers are mixed with sports bras and pants or logo tees and long skirts. Oversized and more structured, they are the perfect pair with a turtleneck and seamlessly cut drawstring pants. Superimpositions are used to create hybrid looks, such as with long hooded jackets worn over a pantsuit or a tee shirt and leggings, or a polka-dot sweater worn under a one-shouldered dress. Finally, leather is used to complement beautifully a velvet jumpsuit in the form of a perfecto, or as an all-over look with a black coat-dress.  The resulting aesthetic is the definition of “sportswear chic”.

[6] Hili Ari

We already told you about Hili and Ari, these two young Tel-Aviv based designers, in a previous article. This season, they’re back at it, faithful to their straightforward, androgynous aesthetic. The palette is almost exclusively black and white with a notable dark gold and silver exceptions. Clean cuts are a must for men and women alike, be it in an oversize white shirt worn over black pants or in a black suit worn shirtless.  Materials are fluid, following the body’s shapes to create a streamlined silhouette. Transparency games and audacious cuts or openings add a sexy edge to some of the outfits, while others remain more elegant, yet never austere, and always with that avant-garde touch that is quintessential to the brand.

[7] Holyland Civilians

Another brand we told you about previously, Holyland is back with its streetwear aesthetic and biblical messages. To the sound of live rock and roll music, camouflage-clad models seem to be headed towards “tohu wa bohu”, a biblical term for chaos, as proclaimed by their graphic tees. Once again, the looks are quite androgynous and include ample hooded dresses for both men and women, matching sports pants and jackets, graphic sweaters and plaid dresses and pants. The Holyland target seems to be a nomad, on a constant search for action.

[8] Myor Studio

At Myor studios, Eviatar Myor presents an edgy collection of message-bearing pieces, revealing the rebel heart of the Myor wearer. The importance of textures and materials is revealed in the rhinestones-covered bodysuits, head-to-toe lurex ensembles, or shiny viny pants paired with faux-fur or a long flowy blouse. The Myor men and women seem to come from the future, a jaded future where we say “fuck” to love but where everyone is free to be who they are, unapologetically.

[9] Errant

Part of the “upcoming designers” show, menswear brand Errant presents in 11 models a reinvention of the dandy for our day and age. Pinstripe jackets with golden buttons meet animal print pants, givint Errant’s dandy a rebellious edge. Yet he is cool, chill, and can have a little something reminiscent of a cowboy, with shirts tied at the neck with a bow. In all occasions, he definitely remains modern with his graphic tees and pants, dress-up coat over shorts, or long sleeveless jacket.

[10] Shahar Avnet

Shahar Avnet must have loved to dress up her Barbie dolls as a little girl. Her creations’ handmade quality is obvious in the explosion of tulle, ingeniously combined with silk and other refined materials to create colorful masterpieces. The term “masterpiece” is not to be taken lightly here, as Avnet sees her work in fashion as a mean to express her artistic identity, alongside with drawing, collage or embroidery. As a result, each piece is like a canvas where she expresses her journey through life, free of constraints.

[11] Shenkar College of Art, Engineering and Design

Shenkar’s runway show appeared as one of the most creative of this fashion week, revealing its young students as an extremely promising bunch. Their creations were varied and imaginative, unrestrained by the limits of what seems possible. Every style was represented, from edgy to romantic to sportswear-chic, to downright futuristic. The cuts and shapes show a high level of technique and craftsmanship, while the variety of materials and textures used proves great artistic skills. Only in second and third years, these kids have a future, and it will be stylish.