Israeli fashion industry celebrates 70 years of creativity
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Israeli fashion industry celebrates 70 years of creativity

Star-studded event shows off historic looks since establishment of the Jewish state and what its citizens will be wearing next

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

Designers honored at '70 Years of Israeli Fashion' at the Expo Tel Aviv on March 5 included Gideon Oberson (third from right) and Ronen Chen (far right) with Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (third from left) and Sara Netanyahu (center, in black dress) (Courtesy Sivan Farag)
Designers honored at '70 Years of Israeli Fashion' at the Expo Tel Aviv on March 5 included Gideon Oberson (third from right) and Ronen Chen (far right) with Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (third from left) and Sara Netanyahu (center, in black dress) (Courtesy Sivan Farag)

Israel’s fashion industry celebrated 70 years of its creative spirit on Tuesday night with a ceremony at the Expo Tel Aviv, honoring designers and fashions that have historically characterized Israeli style.

With multiple references to the classic khakis and the historic hat known as the kova tembel, the nearly two-hour ceremony reviewed Israel’s fashion roots and pioneers, with speeches by Sara Netanyahu, Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, model Galit Gutman and other notable names in Israel’s small but vibrant fashion industry.

Homage was paid to the pioneers of Israeli fashion, to label Maskit, including designer Fini Leitersdorf, Gottex bathing suit company founder Lea Gottlieb, as well as the influence of army wear on the local fashion industry.

Designers Ronen Chen and Gideon Oberson were two of the designers awarded for their work — Chen for his 25 years of ready-to-wear women’s clothing, and the Italian-born Oberson for 57 years of fashion design, bringing fashion to the desert from his studies in Paris.

The show included several runway sequences, beginning with clothing pieces based on the influences of countries from which Israelis immigrated. Another display brought bathing suits down the runway, noting the influence Gottex has had on Israeli fashion, and another sequence showcased bridal gowns, pointing at an area of design in which Israeli designers have had a global impact.

The emerging areas of menswear and clothing technology closed the show, with performances by Shefita, the near-winner in the recent “A Star is Born” reality show and Eurovision 2018 winner Netta Barzilai.

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