Designer David Weksler took protests against the coalition’s divisive judicial overhaul on to the fashion runway on Sunday at the opening of Kornit Fashion Week in Tel Aviv.
Weksler, a Jaffa-based Brazilian Israeli designer who specializes in sustainable, upcycled textiles and digitally printed fabrics, had his models protest on the runway with placards denouncing the plan.
“Democracy for all,” “Clothing for traitors” (“Begadim lebogdim,” a play on words in Hebrew) and “Democracy or rebellion,” read the cardboard signs held aloft by models as they marched down the runway.
They were dressed in Weksler’s trademark colorful streetwear, with layers of digitally printed fabrics mixed and matched for effect.
Weksler, a graduate of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and Central Saint Martins in London, is always known for pushing societal boundaries, particularly when it comes to gender and masculinity.
His collection this year focused on recycled fashion designed with artificial intelligence, in collaboration with Kornit Digital, the fashion event sponsor.
Weksler asks questions about the future of fashion, upcycling clothing with advanced printing technologies in order to create collections dictated by fabric.
On Sunday, his troupes of models, made up with pagan-like battle stripes and dressed in opposing themes of colorful versus black-and-white, battled it out on the runway in a replay of recent events at weekly protests around the country.
One model, dressed as a police officer with colorful textile patches tacked onto his shirt pockets, gave out fake “fines” to those sitting in the front rows.
Weksler called it “a reality show on the runway,” an opening theme to the 12th Fashion Week produced by Motti Reif.
This year’s event features 28 shows featuring both leading fashion designers and newer names in the industry.
Tel Aviv Fashion Week, held through March 23, combines fashion shows and events promoting social awareness.
The weeklong event includes talks about environmental recycling and sustainability, panels on women’s health, menopause, fertility and body transformation, sexuality and female entrepreneurship.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets over the past two months to protest the sweeping plan by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to overhaul the judiciary and curtail the power of the court system.
Opponents argue it will weaken Israel’s democratic character, remove a key element of its checks and balances and leave minorities unprotected. Supporters call it a much-needed reform to rein in an activist court.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.