While Jessica included a bevy of the best of the best Israeli fashion designers for her article in Israel21c (see last post,) there were many she didn’t include that I felt should have been on the list. You may agree or disagree, but I believe they’ve earned their spot. Here are my own picks for top Israeli fashion designers that should have been on the list!
1: Anya Fleet
Anya Fleet‘s winter collection included structured sharp shouldered jackets with geometric print interior, striped tights, and crisp cigarette pants. So when I found out her father was a sculptor, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. It seems her fashion follows suit. It’s both artistic and architectural
Her summer collection is a little less stiff, and all the more elegant but there’s still something Eurochic about the group. They include carved out lace dresses and silk jumpsuits, which are made of high-end fabrics and monochromatic colors like pink, gray, and navy blue. She provides a sharp contrast between womanly and rigid with the right kind of glam for each. But never too girly. Her pieces convey the essence of urban chic and target the Euro-glam city girl. Still, as feminine as her spring collection is, it’s not warm and flowery or casual. Could it be her Ukranian childhood? An homage to the proud model or the stiff, but romantic wallflower? Wherever the inspiration comes from, Anya’s clothing are fit for an Israeli princess.
2: Sigal Dekel
Sigal Dekel holds a special place in my heart because she was the first designer I’d ever heard of from Israel more than 3 years ago. I remember being in a small in the south of Israel called Arad and when I asked the madricha on our program about a dress she was wearing, she said, “It’s from an Israeli designer. Sigal Dekel.” Since then I’ve been on a mission to find out all I can about Sigal Dekel, who may make clothes for an older woman’s look but still has trendy pieces with lots of ruffles and draping thata twentysomething would love to wear.
Sigal Dekel’s fashion house was founded in 1999 and by 2000 she given the title of “Promising Designer of The Year.” Her clothes are more high-end women’s check (the kind you see in North Dizengoff and Neve Tzedek) but I wouldn’t call her unaffordable. She currently has 10 stores throughout the country and is growing. Aside from unique items like harem pants, ruffled blouses that come apart and draped cardigans, she also has a variety of basics and classic pieces. A sort of sporty classic ready-to-wear. What’s more, Sigal is embracing the merging of fashion and social by posting almost daily outfit posts on her Facebook page. She’s also one of few Israeli designers to have her own store outside the country. (I’ve been to her Soho neighborhood setting and it is quite mod.)
3: Hilla Toledano
High quality leather and lavish gold buckles go hand in hand with Hilla Toledano‘s sultry bag line. The bags looks like its been passed down from generation to generation without scuff or tarnish with a finish that was inspired by the art of the Roccoco era from early 18th century Europe. Fluid and curvy lines and shapes resembling shells mix with gentle colors and fancy elements for a touch of European aristocracy.
Hilla’s unique techniques are inspired by trips to El Bolson in Argentina and a mentor with more than 40 years experience in leather and an education in Morocco. She’s branched off into her own high quality line and I think her accessories are some of the best I’ve seen. There’s just an essence to the whole brand–from the Roccoco inspiration and muted colors to the detachable gold chain to the names of her purses (she titles them with Spanish words related to Roccoco.) Toledano’s bags are sold in stores throughout Israel and on Coolil.com. With an exceptional look after only two years in the fashion industry, this girl is going places. Her name is timeless luxury.
4: Rhus Ovata
Many Israelis I know who don’t typically like Israeli fashion still love Rhus Ovata. There’s something so luscious and femme about the line that you can’t say no. And it doesn’t hurt that the Israeli co-team of designers started selling their wares outside of the country before they came back to their homeland. Einav and Hadas Zucker make up this amazing design duo. Einav previously headed a Diesel for women line while Hadas worked with Michael Kors. Their decision to work together stemmed from a trip to southern Italy where the synergy was there and the option to work together just seemed the right thing to do. The pair chooses bold colors like deep blues, tangerines, and whites with unique textiles and mix up a flirty feminine look with an urban effortless cool.
5: Shani Bar
I’m sure a few of you drooled over my latest buy, a pair of mustard colored yellow peep toe wedges from shoe designer Shani Bar. Handmade and oh so beautiful! She certainly has a classy signature style. Shani Bar has been creating her own exclusive pair of shoes since 2003 after she graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem in the Jewelry and Accessories Design department. She combines ultra mod and classic elements in bright shades and geometric patterns resulting in sexy, but classy femme footwear. Her peep toes are utterly divine while her Mary-Janes have a patent shine. Also loving the bold shapes print on her white moccasins. You must make sure to take in a pair of Shani Bar shoes. You’ll be quite happy you did.
6: Sharon Brushner
Don’t know how many people will agree with this statement…or even if Miss Sharon Brunsher herself will think I’m in the right for saying it. But I think Sharon Brunsher is the “Sigal Dekel” of the new generation. Her clothes are fresh and feminine with classic designs but elegant fabrics and patterns like eyelet, lace, and cotton. The clothes may seem simple and classic, but I like to think of it as minimalist–after all, it’s perfect for the Tel Avivit who lives in the heat of Israeli summer. She’s a mixture of mod and monochromatic, and caters to the woman who wants to feel sultry, but ultimately comfortable. Her signature wrinkled cotton scarves are utterly divine and she creates clothes in an array of blacks, whites, and grays. Not fussy and totally chic.
7: Inbal Gvili
When I first met Inbal Gvili, I was expecting a bright and peppy female who wants every to look at her in bold neon dresses. Well, the peppy part is no lie, but Inbal dresses edgy and a little bit punky. All in all, quite differently from her loud, loose summertime party girly girl look–which makes her designs all the more enthralling. Because she’s obviously so capable of catering to all personalities but wants to bring out the bright-colored, bold but elegant side of all women. Inbal’s Be Label for summer includes patterned neon hues and draped dresses that cater to all sizes. Her pieces display an exquisite tailoring and bunching of fabrics.
8: HDL Daphna Levinson
I was first attracted to Daphna Levinson‘s skinny dark jeans, wide leg jean trousers, and white cap sleeve shirts. I noticed her green and yellow-hued blouses and bought a few black shirts that included partial fabrics as part of the piece (one had a lace inset, the other a polka dot collar, the third plaid.) But what I really noticed about Daphna’s HDL dressy casual line is that while it easily caters to and embraces the female form, there’s just something so Israeli and I can’t put my finger on what exactly that is. Perhaps it’s the way she combines fabrics or her mixture of spring colors and edgy looks.
She separates her looks into three categories: Studio, Casual, and Prom but each distinctly pick up on the Israeli woman’s body and the Israeli lifestyle. Her most recent collection includes tailored and classic cotton skirts, tunics, jackets, knitwear and trousers in colors of pink, purple, black, and green. She in tune with t trends like floral and maxi dresses and knows the typical Tel Avivit. She has 20 stores throughout Israel and has been around since 1995.
9: The Hellers
The Hellers work out of Tel Aviv and Los Angeles and cater more to the international world. I’m also not sure if I would call them “Israeli fashion.” But Jessica mentioned Yigal Azrouel in her article, so why can’t I mention them? The Hellers make lots of their pieces from deadstock material they collect from around the world. They come up with lots of bold patterned party dresses, simple but statement-making acid wash skirts, and even an original tuxedo cardigan or two. Their clothes are urban chic punky party girl–lots of taffeta, tulle, and print. Jacquard shapes, one sleeve frocks, and dress pockets abound along with bows and some glitter. Very disco prom. I just love ’em. You can find pieces from The Hellers in Melbourne, London, Los Angeles, and Berlin but also Tel Aviv, Ra’anana and Ramat HaSharon.
10: Liat Ginzburg
There’s a reason Sense of Fashion‘s Daria Shualy told the world that she was once stopped on the street for wearing a Liat Ginzburg necklace. This kind of beauty will surely get you noticed! Liat’s jewelry is big, colorful, and daring and it’s influences include everything from art to poetry to nightlife. Her Drama line was launched in 2007 and caught everyone’s attention. Care to wear giant flowers or a necklace of fuchsia whales? Liat Ginzburg is your go-to girl. Her jewelry is wild but playful and totally one-of-a-kind. Some of her jewelry even has vintage components from the 1970s and her earrings look like the kind of hoops my mom might have worn while she was listening to 80s new wave like Talking Heads and Depeche Mode.