These days, fashion diplomacy flourishes in three areas. It is increasingly becoming a means to mobilize collective action and a platform for artists to express their solidarity in times of crisis. It supports national economic growth while positioning national brands in the global market. Finally, fashion diplomacy can create opportunities for historic breakthroughs and a sea change in the cultural status quo. This is the case of Kornit Fashion Week.
In Tel Aviv, designers Tovale and Naama Chasin placed Ukrainian flags on all front-row seats and asked models to sing Ukrainian songs on the catwalk. This poignant moment was made even more poignant by the fact that this collection highlighted Chasin’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her creative longevity in fashion.
Israeli brand Para Ruk exhibited handmade accessories, scarves and bags in kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. Most of the artisans managed to squeeze out their last-minute deliveries just as supply lines were under fire across the country. A collection of We Ukraine t-shirts designed by Ukrainian artists was being sold in a showroom organized by fashion producer Roza Sinaysky. “Many Jews have long-standing family ties to Ukraine. The Ukrainian-Israeli diaspora is strong here, so we had to give this topic all the attention it needs and deserves,” said Motty Reif, founder of Kornit Fashion Week Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, Jewish and Israeli designers continually make headlines in the fashion media for their creative concepts and pioneering business practices in cruelty-free design, faith-based style, NFT, and fashion technology. Oh, and for dressing Beyoncé!
Michal Herzog said: “Israeli fashion has always been one of our best ambassadors around the world. I grew up a huge fan of Maskit run by the late Ruth Dayan and the amazing Gottex swimsuits. They introduced the “Made in Israel” label in every major store in the world. Young designers take the initiative and make us proud. »
Among the new talent, Aharon Genish stood out for his fascinating insight into gender (non)conformity. His collection includes identical items based on the strict Haredi dress code from his childhood. The clothing was then personalized with unique elements of digitally printed landscapes, emphasizing the blurring of boundaries between feminine and masculine.
YANKY & NATAF is a brand of the designer couple Yanki Golian and Nataf Hirschberg Golian. His collection was one of the most fun of the week to see and imagine wearing. Drawing inspiration from the 1980s and 2030s, they infused their time-travel nostalgia with a touch of the metaverse. Israel’s leading design institutions, such as Shenkar, Bezalel Academy, and Holon Institute of Technology, focus on the development of new textiles alongside traditional fashion education. It is not surprising, therefore, that his former students are among the most innovative creators of the moment.
Young couturier Alon Livné began his fashion career by cutting and sewing his grandmother’s old tablecloths. Today, he works with 3D-printed leather designs and laser-cut couture textiles to create contemporary fashion sculptures admired by Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Naomi Campbell. The combination of a proud heritage and a vision for the future is a characteristic combination that makes the Israeli style appealing to global audiences. “I love contemporary designs that incorporate traditional patterns and embellishments into modern rooms. Our designers offer modern and bold designs with a Middle Eastern flavor. Internationally, it’s an attractive combination with an interesting twist,” said First Lady Michal Herzog.
For her part, the Emirati luxury seamstress Mona al Mansouri made history by becoming the first Arab designer to appear in Israel. The meticulously crafted collection of stunning gowns would have impressed the world’s most discerning haute couture audience. Dr. Mona (as her millions of Instagram fans call her) is based in Abu Dhabi. Engineer with a successful career in the oil industry before becoming fashionable.
Israeli singer Miri Mesika opened the show. A trainer on The Voice Israel and a judge on the Israeli version of American Idol, her presence added pop seriousness to an already powerful moment. When Dr. Mona came out to take her bow, the audience rose to their feet in applause. She played a song by Arik Einstein, with lyrics in Hebrew: “You and I, together we will change the world.” Many were moved to tears. Dr. Mona has also been encouraged by the support of her Emirati, Saudi and Qatari clients. Motty Reif, founder of Kornit Fashion Week, commented that “it was a dream come true to finally present the first Arab designer show in Tel Aviv! Dr. Mona always understood that this was beyond politics. It was about peace, and she was very brave to be the first to take that step. »
“As a luxury brand, I compete with the biggest fashion houses, not only in the Middle East, but also globally. Tel Aviv has surpassed my experience in fashion events in France, Italy and Spain. From the creativity of the creators to the professionalism of the staging, lighting and organization, everything was beyond imagination,” said Dr. Mona.
Source: Forbes and Israel Valley