Fashion Week No. 2, held at the Gindi Tel Aviv complex

Fashion Week No. 2, held at the Gindi Tel Aviv complex

Three days of shows got started Monday, featuring the work of veteran designers

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Completing Tovaleh's mom -and-tot show (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)
Completing Tovaleh's mom -and-tot show (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

We’ve been liveblogging Tel Aviv’s Fashion Week #2 — three days of fashion shows by some of the more well-known designers in Israel. It’s the second fashion week event in as many months, as the two organizers, Ofir Lev and Motty Reif, who handled last year’s first Fashion Week, had a falling out and split their events.

Lev’s event in November featured younger designers, and a push toward exporting their work abroad, a natural direction for Lev, a self-proclaimed fashion entrepreneur. Reif, an events producer, has focused on the more veteran designers and is being backed by Gindi developers, holding the event in the under-construction Gindi complex in central Tel Aviv.

PREAMBLE: The entire look of Gindi TLV Fashion Week, as this second fashion week is formally known, is showier and possibly most costly than Ofir Lev’s Fashion Week that was held at HaTachana, the refurbished train station in south Tel Aviv.

A look at Gindi Fashion Week's bar/lobby (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Backed by the Gindi developers, and held in a series of tents at the front of construction site for Gindi’s planned fashion mall in center Tel Aviv (as seen from the open ‘windows’ along the tent), organizer Motti Reif went for the luxe look in his fashion week, setting up banquettes, bars and food stations for the hundreds expected to arrive at the three-day fashion show.

While Lev’s week of showcasing Israeli style was geared toward displaying and developing younger designers — particularly after the Lev and Reif argued and split events, with many of the older, more established designers choosing to show at Reif’s fashion event — as well as inviting the international bloggers, fashion writers and buyers who hold sway over the market, Reif went for the more moneyed local crowd, particularly among viewers who are accustomed to buying Kedem Sasson’s conceptual draped clothing or Gideon Oberson’s couture-styled pieces.

Many of the attendees were also at the previous Fashion Week — fashionistas will never say no to two fashion events  — but tended to agree that holding two fashion weeks in the course of two months was overkill.

“They should have been able to figure it out, right?” said one Berlin-based blogger who was in Israel for his first trip, but didn’t want to offer his name, for fear of angering Reif, his host.

(A video of local models at the start of Monday’s shows)

Monday’s highlights included the crisp summery whites of Sample, the label by sisters Einat Zivi and Nophar Machluph. Featuring a selection of jumpsuits, shifts, and tunics, the look was casual and easy, with some shorts and jackets for work. Several pieces in a Lily Pulitzer-like Asian floral offered a more elegant look, particularly the peplum halter tops with pencil skirts and taupe sweaters. An abrupt shift into black moved the show into evening wear, but most appeared unwearable for the average woman, with the exception of an simple tent dress and leather culottes that offered an interesting option for nighttime wear in the hot summer.

The white look of Sample (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

A look at the Gindi-sponsored video that opens each show, filmed in the construction site behind the fashion tent. This clip offers a look at the sorbet stripes and plaids of opening designer, Shai Shalom, one of the few local menswear designers. It’s not a look often sported by Sabra men, but the effort is there.

Dressed in their Sasson Kedem best (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

The late afternoon audience for Sasson Kedem’s eponymously named label — Kedem Sasson — included a significant number of his customers and fans, given the large number of women, older and younger, dressed in his conceptually draped and styled fabrics. The story of how Kedem started out, initially designing for his former wife and larger women in general is often told, and now his full fabric look has been adopted by a large swath of locals as well as the international market.

Dressed in their Sasson Kedem best (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

They were enthusiastic about his summer 2013 collection, which began with a group of black, gray and white polka-dotted and striped pieces, before moving into a shocking red, perhaps his brightest hue yet, before returning to the more expected monochromatic items. The fresh crispness of the polka dots and stripes offset the loose, draped quality of his slouchy work, mostly tunics and leggings or wide-legged pants and tops, as well as loosely knit cotton sweaters and shawls.

A simple, classic shift in red from Kedem Sasson (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

The shifts, blousy tops and baggy pants were shown to wonderful effect on the models, but work well on all body tops, which has always been Kedem’s focus. The show was pure Kedem Sasson, to the delight and steady applause of the crowd, who were clearly looking forward to seeing the pieces in his stores around the country.

The brown linen look of Kedem Sasson (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Kedem Sasson greets his models and fans (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Fashionista moms and daughters crowded the runway tent for the highly anticipated show of Tovaleh and Naama Hassin, the mother-and-daughter team who design for a particular kind of Tel Aviv toddler and her fashion-loving parent.

Tovaleh greeting her audience (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Lots of glitter, sequin and glitz adorned the sportwear, which included short-shorts, shifts, leggings and the occasional tent dress, as some of the models sauntered down the runway accompanied by child models in tot-size Tovaleh designs.

Full and small size models at Tovaleh show (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

The foreign fashion journalists were somewhat taken aback by all the sparkle, but the local audience was thrilled, particularly when Tovaleh and her daughter emerged at the end, accompanied by Naama Hassin’s children. There was also a Who’s Who element to the show, as local stars and well-known faces were in the audience, including former MK Dalia Rabin-Pelosoff, daughter of Yitzhak Rabin, and her daughter, Noa Rothman, who first became known for her tearful eulogy for her grandfather and most recently became known as a screenwriter.

A Kibbutz Dance company performer introducing the Obersons' collection (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Father-and-daughter team Gideon and Karen Oberson are often considered the couture label of Israel, both for his renowned swimsuit label and their long-standing Israeli line of clothing, but tonight’s crowd acted less than enthused about the Summer 2013 collection, despite the hype.

The Obersons’ 8 pm show was considered the focus of the evening (US retail chain American Eagle is the final show of the evening), and opened with a performance by a dancer of the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, who twisted and writhed under a stream of sand falling from the ceiling, echoing the beige and white beach hues of the collection.

A look at the whites, beiges and turquoises of the Oberson collection (photo credit: Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)

Oberson said back in October that he was moving from Lev’s Fashion Week to Reif’s separate event because of the Kibbutz Dance Company element.

The relatively small number of pieces featured a geometric look of cutouts and shapes, ranging from white and ecru to taupe and beige, including several evening dresses, before heading into the turquoise of the sea for a series of chiffon jackets, flowing trousers and dresses.

The final outfit was an evening dress studded with discs, preceded by a pair of male Kibbutz Dance Company performers, who received more applause than the glittery dress.

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