There’s a few things Israelis are known for when it comes to fashion.
Taking risks. Showing skin. Pairing unique combinations. Using color.
Summer is a great time for them to do all of these things. And since the Spring/Summer is about 9 months out of the year…they usually get that chance.
Here’s what else I’ve noticed about Israeli fashion. They seem to get and understand European trends before other parts of the world (in other words, America!), they dress it down because its just so damn hot out, and they add their own streetwear flair. Or at least that’s the way it goes in Tel Aviv-Yafo, the trendiest part of the country, which has been my home in Israel for the past 4 years.
I was here when the leggings trend first became popular in summer time, and I stuck around when those leggings turned acid-wash or were paired with round toe flat shoes. I was here when khakis came through for a minute and I also saw the emergence of vintage as a force to be reckoned with, as second hand shops began costing as much as designer ones. When bodysuits were back, I told the US to get in on the trend and when the fashion said something about Israeli society, I waxed poetic on the high points of pioneer chic.
When animal prints, came through with a vengeance, I turned the check, but when they came through with color in summertime (a la Blumarine), I couldn’t look away.
I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go when summer is around the corner. Here are the ones that are making an impact this 2012 season.
Peep Toe Flats
It’s obvious that Israeli fashionistas are all about sandals. It’s the only way to get around here, since it’s quite hot, Israelis love to be comfortable, and the roads can give you problems in heels (hear that, New Yorkers?!) Pretty flats, not sandals, are the best way to keep up the comfort trend, but dress it up a little–something Israelis know how to do best. The round toe flats trend came along with a vengeance when Israeli girls realized this fact and when leggings became a fashion must in the city of Tel Aviv. Now the girls are trying something just a little bit different. Peep toe flats are the perfect way to get that comfort, style, and show off that pedicure (and those Israeli girls LOVE their pedicures, since of course they get to wear flat 9 months out of the year!)
For comfortable peep toe flats in solid colors, go to designers like Shani Bar and Couple Of. Websites IlCouture and Boutique Amalia also have a small collection of well-made peep toe flats (see asymmetrical Aya pumps from Natalie ve Tamar up top.) If you want an embellishment, perhaps a bow or a print, head to the Scoop boutique. They’re also a huge purveyor of very, VERY high heels.
Myka‘s retro style Kimi peep toes in pink have a slight heel but still look totally comfortable.
Severe High Bun Updo
Ok before you get your skivvies in a twist (haha, get it?) please note that I do understand that a hair style is not a piece of clothing. Still, I had to include this trend in my top trends for Israeli fashionistas this summer because it’s just become so prevalent as seen around the entire country. Chalk it up to heat or merely the fact that Israeli style chicks love to grow their hair long despite the heat, it’s quite stylish this season to put your hair up in the highest bun possible to go with your denim cutoffs or your pleat skirt. (More on those trends below.) Tell me you haven’t seen this trend highlight a button-down sleevless black shirt tucked into a pair of acid wash leggings.
Of course, there’s no real way to “get” this hair do except to do it yourself but you might want to accent it with an Avigail Adam headband or the new trend of summer–a head scarf a wrap-it-yourself retro head piece that almost looks like a mini turban. These girls got it exactly right.
The shorter the better? Maybe not. Still, denim cutoffs are the de rigeur for an Israeli summer particularly among the young adult set (and unfortunately sometimes among the adult adult set, too.) Make sure your cutoffs are especially frayed or vintage looking for the full effect and please be careful when bending over, since it’s a site for sore eyes. Available at Zara in Israel or do some hunting on Bograshov street.
Below The Knee Pleat Skirts in Neon
This is definitely the newest and most popular trend hitting the streets in Israel this season. Accordion skirts were never really out of style, but the fashion really went up a notch when they started coming in colors other than black. Mint green, aquamarine, pale pink, and bright yellow have all been seen on the mean streets of Tel Aviv. Make sure your pleat skirt is tight up top but lose around the bottom and let it fall bellow the knee–mini pleat skirts are just not in this season. Don’t let the waistband get to tight, but pull it up over a sleeveless tank or bodysuit with spaghetti straps for the perfect Israeli summer girl look.
Israeli online fashion magazine Fashion Forward recently did an article on pleat skirts, where they chose 5 to highlight for summer. The white one from Dr. Denim and red one from Mango are my favorites because they are the ones you’d probably see on the street. But don’t let the retail names fool you–you can also find pleat skirts at your local Israeli shop on Frishman, Shenkin, or Bograshov street in Tel Aviv.
Israeli fashion blogger Inna Gutman devoted more than one blog entry on the beauty of all things pleated. She called the style both romantic and feminine and wrote, “A pleated skirt can be worn with almost anything. A man’s skirt, t-shirt, tank top combined with cardigan…you can put the top into a skirt or over it and fasten it with a thin belt to create a narrow waist.” She found the skirt in the Antique Market. (שוק העתיקות)
Perhaps it is this ability for versatility that makes the pleat skirt so perfect for the Israeli summer. Not to mention it’s light, airy, and cool.
In truth, the best places to find the best of Israeli fashion for summer is just going outside! Every street corner has another case of good (or bad) Israeli fashion. Of course, watching your local Israeli channel is another good idea. And if that doesn’t work, head to Israel’s best street fashion blogs like The Streetswalker and ILook.
How will you style yourself for Israeli summer?
Photos: Ynet.co.il, IlCouture, The Streetswalker, Modaland.co.il, Fashion Forward, Castro, Xnet, Truly Scrumptious, Anna K, Etsy