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dodo diptDodo Bar Or.

Last week I headed to Tel Aviv to see collections by local designers—as is joked in the industry, “fashion week is daily,” so right after Paris, the fashion buzz moved to the East. It was my second time in Tel Aviv, so there were a couple of brands that I already knew. Designers who are successful on the Israeli fashion scene are very strong locally, which is a great achievement for the industry. Some of them have stores, others sell from ateliers, but all are sold successfully. When seeing their collections, it is obvious that they know their clients very well. Gindi fashion week lasts for four days and boasts around twenty shows. Most of the collections I saw were built around eveningwear; the cult of party dressing is very powerful and a vital part of the local culture. Therefore, designers who work with bridal and eveningwear are very well trained in craftsmanship and show skills, closer to couture than ready-to-wear. I especially liked the collection by Lee Grebenau, a young fashion designer who was inspired by England’s Victorian era and Russian ballet. The focus on collars, balanced with the variety of embroidery on the garments, made for good results.

leediptLee Grebenaul

Dodo Bar Or, a big and powerful name in Israel, presented a collection called Arabesque. Inspired by Islamic art, European decor from the Renaissance, Middle Eastern architecture, and geometric ornamental art, this collection was an interesting take on ethnic styles. This is something I, as an international journalist, want to see at the local fashion weeks.

Israel boasts a unique fashion school called Shenkar, and Gindi fashion week is supporting talented students by providing them a slot during the schedule. The most interesting thing about the graduate shows is that most of them are far from eveningwear, using basic styles as a starting point.

Israel is steadily showing its desire to be included in the context of international fashion. Apart from Gindi fashion week, there is another great event here, a series of lectures at the Design Museum Holon. The stores, which sell international fashions, are also evident; a place such as Helga Design is a must-visit for fashionistas when in Tel Aviv. So if you are considering a retreat right after fashion month, Israel could be the best choice, both for fashion and for entertainment.

Photos: Courtesy of Daria Shapovalova

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