***Before I begin, let me just note that I didn’t take too many pictures at the Fashion Market. Therefore, a lot of the pics I use here to describe the day have been taken from a few other bloggers and sites like I Heart Fashion and duly noted where credit is due.
The picture above is me right before I left for the Fashion Market. I’m wearing a Castro shirt and belt and argyle tights from Jerusalem. The boots are from Togo and I think I got the black skirt from Jerusalem. Everything I’m wearing is from Israel, to be exact. I guess that makes me proud to be an American Israeli representing Israel.
I prepared for my second Fashion Market ever in this country. The first one I went to was a year and a 1/2 ago when I first moved to Tel Aviv and was excited about the idea of a collection of designers all in one place. There were other Fashion Markets in between but I didn’t go; mostly because I was away or it was inconvenient at the time. Since that first trip to Ganei Hatarucha, my knowledge of the Israeli fashion world has gone up as well as the opportunity to meet other Israeli fashionistas and designers in this country.
And so I was going into my second with a keen eye and a fresh perspective. It was like going to the same event, but totally outside myself.
The Eye from Fashion Editor’s Notes described the Market as “an honest sort of fashion Bar Mitzvah Israel celebrated every year.” So true!
I was there to see the clothes, but moreover, I was there to meet the designers who’s clothes I knew by heart, but who’s faces I had never seen.
Ironically, the first person I ran into at the Market was none other than Sefi Erlich, creator of the Way2Yellow style blog and the girl I had just written about in a previous Fashion Israel post as she modeled clothing from Petit A, a label showing at the Market. We exchanged pleasantries. At that moment, I could understand why others had chosen her to model their clothes.
I looked around in awe, not knowing where to begin. And so I decided to start at the first booth I had seen when I walked in and work my way around. I remember 18 months ago when I had appeared at my first Fashion Market, the first booth had been the cheap sunglasses company X-Ray (my first experience with the brand) and all of my favorite companies had been packed into the other side of the room. This time, the ones I loved most were right there when I walked in.
You remember when I wrote about designers I’m looking forward to seeing, I mentioned Yosef (יוסף). Throughout most Israeli media outlets, since the inception of the Fashion Market, more than 10 years ago, Yosef is known for getting most of his recognition from constant appearances at the Fashion Market where much of his collection was sold out.
I knew this one would be no exception. I wasn’t expecting much from Yosef and I was seriously floored. A lot of his shirts, mini bubble skirts, and thin capri pants were made of a sort of crinkly satin meets silk material I found out later had been brought to Israel about a year ago and had caught on–now all the designers were using them.
Anya Fleet, Sigal Dekel, and Sharon Brunsher were located next to each other and I was quite excited as I had just written about all three on this blog. Unfortunately for me, Brunsher’s knits and Dekel’s draped and tucked skirts seemed like they were out of my league, on another level, or just not really my style. Whatever the case, they weren’t for me.
(By the way, did you know Sigal Dekel was celebrating her 10th year in business at this Fashion Market? More on this coming up in a future post.)
Anya Fleet‘s collection surprised me in a good way and I was impressed by the European charm and structured cuts of her sharp-shouldered jackets. Silk dresses were also in abundance and I felt like Anya was capturing a sophisticated Milan flavor in the Holy Land. What’s more is that I was trying on pieces right next to the door and had no idea until I got home and saw her picture on the computer. I asked one of her helpers to try on a jacket for a photograph and this is the result. If only her cuts weren’t for smaller sized girls, I’m not quite so sure how someone wider hips or broad shoulders would be able to pull off any of her clothes.
One of the great things about living in Israel is feeling an intimacy and sense of community with any group you’re interested in or want to feel a part of. I’ve said this time and time again about the fashion community in Tel Aviv. Perhaps Israelis are used to this, but when compared to American fashion, it feels like big deal to me. It would never be so easy for me to pick out the pieces of an American fashion designer without the designer right there helping me along.
I bought a pair of Anya Fleet ribbed tights for 120nis and they were well worth the price because I can hardly imagine them ripping and they’re the most comfortable tights I’ve ever worn in my entire life. I promise to model them in a future post.
The highlight of my experience at Fashion Market was finally meeting designer Inbal Gvili, who had invited me to her studio on numerous occasions and I had not taken her up on her offer. There wasn’t much left from her Be Label collection…seems like many had already snatched up her beautiful and bold toned creations (lace dresses, one-sleeved blue frocks, and asymmetrical tops. But I was more excited to meet the designer herself then to buy her clothes (which I did anyway.)
Inbal pretty much took my breath away. Imagine a collection that’s very fun, very girlie, but also high-fashion, draped, but structured shirts, slightly pleated dresses with a sheen, high-waist pants cut short at the ankle, and romantic lace–basically femme party oufits. Then picture Inbal Gvili (who unfortunately didn’t like her picture taken, but for good reason; she says wants to be known for her clothes and not her own face), a petite girl wearing her hair on one side of her head, the other side shaved underneath, clad in her own It’ s Ok to Be Me shirt (which she designed herself), tucked into gray high-waist harem-pant inspired trousers cut at the ankles and black and white Oxfords. It was a site to behold.
After that, I didn’t look at too many other designers (though perhaps I should be regretting this now) mostly because I had already spent a good amount of money on an Inbal Gvili dress and Anya Fleet tights and was afraid that if I kept going I would only spend more.
But I did catch a few other places that really got my attention.
Petit A: The clothes were a bit too small, though I did like the bow skirt I had been craving and eyed a light blue striped sharp shoulder jacket. The clothes were light and made for spring with spring and summer pastels, but definitely for a youth-oriented crowd. Nofar Karov is young and I see big things for her.
Gal Stern: Gal, a textile designer that graduated from Shenkar School of Engineering and Design, makes the most gorgeous, diverse, and intricate hand painted tights I’ve seen yet! Inbal boasted about them and I had to see for myself. Each are silk print and handmade. Colors and shapes abound and each one is innovative and statement-making.
אחת אחת Una Una: Israel is definitely not known for trendy shoes, so that’s why a booth for Una Una (located in a cornered off area especially for shoes, accessories, and jewelery) truly caught my attention with their black and white Oxford flats, sculpted ankle boots, a fine leather shoes. Albeit a bit pricey for my budget, I will surely visit them again at the Shuk HaPishpitim in Yafo.
Photos: I Heart Fashion, Tlvct.co.il, Gal-Stern.com, Una-Una.com