Fashion week in Tel Aviv is pretty fresh – it celebrated its 3rd birthday this week, as it showcased over 30 Israeli designers. The event took place in an unusual venue – Gindi Fashion mall, a soon-to-be luxury shopping compound that is still very much under construction. The result was pretty surreal – all dressed up guests, amongst them Israeli celebrities and fashionistas, marched through the red carpet into an exposed concrete structure, then led into a super sleek reception hall that didn’t fall far from Lincoln Center’s Fashion Week, while being overlooked by curious construction workers.
And since the air conditioning was still not at its best and October is still summer in Israel, Fans were handed out to ease the heat. This scenario is to remind us that no matter how we try, and might sometimes succeed, to look like something else – for better or for worse we’re still in the Middle East.
Maskit, who opened Fashion Week, was one of the most anticipated shows this year. It is a legendary and historic Fashion house, one of the first and maybe most influential in local fashion. The house was actually founded by the Israeli government in the 1950’s in order to create employment for new settlers and allow them to use the skills and artistic views they brought, each from a different culture, and create a new, all-Israeli fashion. House of Maskit was closed in the 90’s, but was brought back to life two years ago by designer Sharon Tal with the blessing and collaboration of original founder Ruth Dayan.
In this collection Tal managed to keep Maskit’s essence but still make it extremely relevant. Minimalistic yet sophisticated silhouette included lots of kaftans, soft maxi dresses and featured some of the classic Maskit pieces from the past, such as the desert coat, with new interpretations.
Colors were delicate ocean and earth tons – sand, camel, hushed light blues, off white but also black, and as fit to the brand lots of elaborated techniques such as handmade beading and embroidery-like laser cuts were incorporated in the garments.
Amongst the Designers presenting in Tel-Aviv Fashion week was also Gadi Elimelech, who started his way in the fashion industry 17 years ago as a stylist, and this is his first collection showing on a runway. His best known clients as a stylist was Ninet (Whom you’ve probably never heard of but is a musician and a mega-star in Israel). Their collaboration went on for years, turning Ninet into a fashion icon, and today she’s the one creating the playlist for his show.
Elimelech’s collection was inspired by the world of insects – particularly butterflies and beetles, researching their shapes, colors and textures. His collection consisted of both velvets and nylon-like fabrics creating round, constructed shapes, and of soft, flowy chiffons in body-complimenting silhouettes. Elimelech also used laser cut fabrics, prints and perspex jewelry (designed by Tal Frank) to mimic different aspects of his muse’s esthetics and essence.
Colors were bold red, blue and yellow and a lot of black, fit for the designer who comes from the evening gowns niche. The result was a feminine, dramatic but also very wearable collection.
Another notable brand in TLV Fashion Week was Sample, by sisters Einav Zini and Nofar Machluf. Sample is also a young line, but has already gained a name as the current, “right” brand, making its way into every it-girl’s heart and closet.
This year they presented a monochromatic collection in nudes, olives and earthy marble prints.
Sample’s signature urban and boxy shapes were reinvented with leather and neoprene, incorporating details such as enlarged pockets, buckles and cut-outs finished with a-morphic shaped metal work. Alongside these, in perfect harmony, you could also see more romantic and feminine elements, using raffles, pleats and lace appliques on chiffon and tulle.
The collection presented a very clear concept, developed through every aspect, resulting in a very precise, original and exciting collection.
Runway Photo Credit: Avi Valdman