Day two of Tel Aviv Fashion Week brought eight designers to the runway at HaTachana, Tel Aviv’s refurbished train station area. With this year’s focus on young designers, the day’s shows reflected the energy, sexiness and style typical of local looks. Some were more fall-like, others useful for any season given Tel Aviv’s mostly Mediterranean climate.
Tamar Primak’s ISHTAR line was up first, offering a decidedly ’60s and ’70s look in caftan-styled tunics and dresses. Sixties nostalgia is a common theme among many Israeli designers, drawn as they are to the easy shapes — trapeze dresses, low-slung, often wide-legged pants, and sheer fabrics with a peasant appeal.
Primak’s caftans and dresses in shades of soft orange, gray and creamy yellow evoked the desert. The look was familiar, with shapes and cuts that broke no new ground. The models, who had a Ralph Lauren-esque look, complete with fair hair and skin, all sported a period half-pony clipped with an oversized, molten metal clip. The entire collection was reminiscent of her past work, which has been compared to the Maskit haute couture Israeli label that reigned in the 1960s.
The harder-edged wear featured by Russia-born Anya Fleet reflected her sculptor origins, but was softened by a combination of floral fabrics, mesh inserts and leather panels that ranged in color from pumpkin and ochre to black and gray. Hot pants and Lady Gaga-like bathing suit bottoms sashayed down the runway, paired with batwing shouldered jackets. The look was surprisingly wearable, as well as being fully conceived for the end wearer.
Decorative detail was consistent throughout the day’s shows, whether in Anya Fleet’s combinations of fabric, the beaded and feathered stoles of Liora Taragan, or Frau Blau’s playfully eye-deceiving printed fabrics shown in the late afternoon.
Taragan invoked the Pocahontas in all of us, with carefully rendered shawls, necklaces and vests of beads and feathers. The high notes in the show were a backless halter vest adorned with beading, fringe and feathers, and a black chiffon sheath adorned with ostrich-like plumes.
The day’s finale was Frau Blau, headed up by design team Philip Blau and his wife, Helena Blaunstein, also formerly from Russia. Their work has always combined a mix of pieces in a range of fabrics as well as their signature “ke-ilu” or “as-if” prints, tops and bottoms printed with images, such as strings of pearls or cable knits, offering a touch of whimsy. Their Summer 2013 collection is fully “ke-ilu,” a trompe l’oeil extravaganza evoking creatures of the sea. From the aquamarine blue dresses, tanks and leggings to the more structured short jackets and two-piece skirt and top sets with a ladylike air, the colors were lively and fun with a definite mermaid theme. Frau Blau fans, dressed in pieces from past collections, cheered and chattered away in Russian and Hebrew as the models streamed past.