Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Israeli Design Part 1: Fashion

So much design coming out of such a tiny country! Inspired by my recent trip, Part 1 of this 3-part series on Israeli design focuses on fashion.

Looks from the forefathers of Israeli fashion (l-r): Yigal Azrouël, Elie Tahari and Alber Elbaz
[images via style.com]

Never in my life have I seen as many shoe stores as I saw in Tel Aviv. Window after window, block after block, I was baffled as to how so many Aldo lookalikes selling nearly identical footwear could survive in the same city.

It was a mediocre first impression of Israeli fashion. But the country's creativity revealed itself to me on Shenkin Street, one of Tel Aviv's main shopping drags.

(Dizengoff Street is the true hub of Tel Aviv fashion, but thanks to a super-structured trip, I never made it there. More reason to go back.)

In addition to the inevitable sea of shoes, Shenkin Street features designer boutiques that point to a defined Israeli aesthetic: casual, airy and all about the draping. (It's no wonder with the 100+ temperatures I suffered!)

Famed Israeli-American designer Yigal Azrouël perfected the drapey look, while Jerusalem-born Elie Tahari and Israel-raised Alber Elbaz of Lanvin also incorporate the aesthetic. And while these expats have certainly made their marks, there are plenty of designers operating within Israel who are worth a look.
Summer 2010 [via Ronen Chen]
Ronen Chen is not entirely unknown in the U.S. In fact, I own a pair of (unsurprisingly drapey) pants by him that I bought at Suneri. Since opening his first boutique on Shenkin Street in 1994, Chen has focused on clean, feminine and geometrically inspired shapes.

Fall/Winter 2010 [via Kedem Sasson]
Surprise - more draping! I warned you, didn't I? You certainly can't tell by the models, but Kedem Sasson is a plus-size label inspired by designer Sasson Kedem's wife. He has recently expanded into standard sizes and menswear. Fun fact: in 2009, Kedem was the Tim Gunn of Project Runway Israel!

Fall/Winter 2010 [via Castro]
Castro is a chain that seems to be on every street corner in Israel, but it's nice to see a less familiar version of the Zaras and H&Ms that also abound. Plus, I had to show you that Israelis can do more than drape!

Summer 2010 [via Daniella Lehavi]
See? They can also do sumptuous leather accessories really well. Daniella Lehavi chooses her materials for their quality, and the devil is in the details when it comes to construction. Her model looks a little like Olivia Palermo, no?

*Don't forget to follow me on Friend Connect or Twitter and leave a comment here for a chance to win some yummy Ahava bath and skin products from Israel!


  1. good post!! btw u have a great blog!!!


  2. Great post...I learned a lot from it!

    ♥ V


  3. I love all the collections and wonderful pieces. Great post.


  4. Love this fashion focus, darling!
    And I am completely smitten with that orange Elie Tahari dress!


  5. I love the orange number! Sounds like an interesting place to see for fashion. xoxo

  6. LOVE all the draping. i have yet to purchase any pieces that have that effect but now i need something asap!


  7. Daniella Lehavi... love the bags and the shoes!!!

  8. gorgeous post...you have style...great blog

  9. Lovely blog and great sense of style. I want to follow.
    But I don't like fans of blogs I want to exchange style&fashion tips.

    Check my blog. Let me know if you want to be friends through friendconnect.


  10. Too bad you missed Dizengoff street, it really is great, and if you go to a town called Hertzeliya there is great fashion there too. If you go again, I can give you some tips if you want!

  11. Lovely and superb ladies and great post on modelling.
    agenzia hostess Verona