Israeli Fashion Inspiration: Pioneer Chic

One of the things I most love about fashion (besides the visually stimulating appeal and the idea that all fashion comes from a form of self-expression) is the idea that much fashion in the world today makes commentary on the history, culture and society of our times.

John Galliano Fall 2000
Johbn Galliano Fall 2006

We all remember John Galliano’s deconstructed collection in 2000 inspired by the homeless population that he frequently watched during morning runs along the Seine or his 2006 collection based on patriotism and aspects of the American working class (speaking towards the militarism of that season.)

So too has Israeli fashion spoken to the history and culture of the Israeli experience. For example, it’s not uncommon to see designers throwing fatigues or khakis into their latest collections sort of as an homage to the IDF and army fashion. I’ve definitely seen Israeli fashion designer Sigal Dekel do it before amidst her collections during the Second Lebanon War.

Another prime example? Something I saw on one of Israeli fashion blogger Dar Mashiach’s latest daily outfit blog post. She called it: pioneer chic.

Back in the beginnings of the State when Zionism was raging, the idea was that the settlers should come to physically work the land and nurse it back to health through planting and working the soil . The first pioneers lived on settlements or in kibbutzim and worked tirelessly to make something of this vast country.

They wore easy, baggy attire that could easily get dirty, loose shorts and pants and caps and kerchiefs.

Perhaps Dar’s high-waist khaki shorts in this photo could sort of be an homage to those pioneers (halutzim in Hebrew) who worked endlessly to build this country. Dar even mentions it in her post.

These shorts were similar to something one of those pioneers might have worn.

Of course, we’re not really sure she wore them to pay tribute, but she did make the observation and that was what came to mind when I saw this ensemble.

Pioneer chic, indeed.

Photos:,, NRG


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