Fashion week or Fashion mall

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As a designer, I participated in Fashion Week twice, if you can call it participating – my jewelry was on the runway but as jewelry designers at Tel Aviv’s Fashion Week are considered merely a nice decoration. All I could do was to sneak into the show tent and, standing in the very last row, snap a photo to upload to Facebook, which somehow is considered the real thing in the business world.

This time I was invited as a blogger and it was a real treat. The party was great, the view from the first row was excellent, and when your art is not being paraded on-stage everything is much easier and more enjoyable.

Delicious wine, thin and beautiful, but sad-looking models, wonderful music, New Balance shoes (still my favorite brand because some of its shoes are still manufactured in the United States) walking back and forth on the catwalk in fantastic colors. In a natural-looking connection with the clothing on display.

The shopping mall surrounding us on all sides sparkled and glittered, and it was though we were all movie extras in one large and glamorous commercial.

Works of 37 students were displayed on the catwalk – it is not at all easy to curate such an ensemble into one coherent presentation, even more so when the show is sponsored under the umbrella of three separate commercial giants.

Although the students were supposed to be the main show, they seemed to have taken a backseat to the many sponsors who wandered ahead of them. The pieces went by without any way of knowing what belonged to whom.

The public sector has abandoned culture and now only generous commercial sponsors are available to support the arts. Art or, in this case, fashion can only lick its wounds and pretend for one week that it can survive in this economy.

It seems that this year the students were not alone in this commercial struggle. A variety of sponsors joined the veteran designers on the display boards scattered among the flashing neon signs in the mall.

The fact that there are many talented designers in Israel is not due to luxury and prosperity. We are the result of what is lacking in the industry and exist due to the strength of our survival. Anyone who wants to stand out from the crowd must produce what our suppliers lack in materials and do not produce.

A brief search online showed me that it is not easy today to be a student. When I was a student, we were supposed to study and create art until the end of our fourth year. Today, it seems that students must already have a cohesive vision for their future and an effective online presence.

Nevertheless, and in spite of my bitter cynicism, it was indeed an impressive and enjoyable show. Here are some of the items I particularly loved and the students who were fast typists provided me with some personal insights into their projects:

Amir Shavit:

My project focuses on fencing- a costume that covers the wearer from head to toe and nowadays has no distinction between male and female athletes. During the Victorian era, the fencing master had a special armor patched with a heart that was meant to show the fencing trainees where to aim at. This unique garment was my starting point for a collection that focuses on vulnerability and tumbling defenses. The word “Touche” touch in French, is declared whenever a player strikes his/her opponent but when we think of touch usually we imagine tenderness and romance. The heart necklace is a 3D printed replica of an anatomical heart model created in the 19th century for doctors.

Nataf Hirshberg:

During the 17th century women used to sacrifice comfort to look fashionable and whilst the corset gave the female upper body a fluttering look it come at a cost to women comfort. I designed a solution by using modern materials to keep the flattering look without painful experience. A flattering look that enhances the female upper body and give confidence and comfort.

Ifat Ezra

Hila Cohen

linor kahalani

My project was inspired by NASA’S space suit soon to be made for the first landing on mars. Almost all of my design are androgynous, i design for women and men equally with no sharp reference to the gender of the wearer. Androgyny and equality are so important for especially this era because of the dramatic political changes we are going though, and i feel it is most important for our generation to protest and bring up these problems and answers through our art and design.

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

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About Author

Inbar Shahak is a textile designer by profession, graduating from the Shenkar University of Fashion in Israel, where she majored in weaving, knitting & printing. After working in the garment industry for Calvin Klein, the urge to create handmade textiles art drove her to establish her own succesfull brand of textile jewelry. Inbar’s jewelry is inspired by delicate tracery patterns and her greatest passion is combineing ancient textile-making traditions with new modern techniques. Inbar’s collections are all drawn by hand and printed over metal at her atelier in Kibbutz Maagan Michael. She regularly collaborates with fashion designers around the world, making bold and theatrical costume jewelry design made for Runway fashion projects and fashion shoot productions. “Inbar Shahak” Studio has been widely displayed in galleries, elite jewelry shops, and fashion designer shops and in exhibitions around the world, including the Premiere Classe in Paris, the IJL Show in London, The Atelie and the Moda show in NY and the Norton art Museum in Florida.

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Inbar Shahak - Fashion week TLV - Inbar Shahak

  2. Pooja Shama on

    amazing designs! mus say quite an inspiration. I love the last picture. Would look perfect on the visit to moon.

  3. Cassie S on

    That’s so cool your jewelry was featured in fashion week. That is a HUGE deal whether they made it seem that way or not. Congrats on that! I bet it was so cool being invited as a blogger and experiencing it that way. I would love to see all the designers talented work up close and personal. How cool! Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  4. All of the outfits are amazing but some are just so so beautiful. I would love to go watch Fashion Week, it must be an amazing experience.

  5. Steven Shakeshaft on

    Wow, you’re so lucky! I work really close to one of the locations for London Fashion week and I’ve always wondered what it would be like!

  6. Akamatra on

    I never did understand the allure of high fashion to be honest. Who would wear this outfits in everyday? I prefer jeans to some of these dresses. That said there are some pieces that can be considered art.

  7. Linor Kahilani’s design is amazing! I also love the spacesuit inspired design! Im not sure I would wear it but they have the right idea using non gender in this day and age

  8. I loved the outfit inspired by NASA’S space suit. But don’t know at what occasions we can wear these outfits. Sometimes fashion statements are undigestable for me. However, you rounded up very well. Happy to hear that you enjoyed …

  9. Jennifer L on

    Omg what incredible designs and structure all the pieces have. It is a shame that jewelry you created was not properly given its own spotlight. Granted the clothing is usually the centerpiece, but an accessory like jewelry just adds so much to it. High Fashion is def something I admire like a painting but not necessary like a rule book. You just make what you like to suit your style and taste.

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