Hi, Today Israel Fashion Art 1948-2008 is featured in the website newspaper Mashabim. Arie Lavie, editor in chief of the newspaper (formerly of Haaretz daily newspaper) concentrated in his book review on the Maskit fashion house which was founded by Rut Dayan.
Maskit played a very unique place in the country's fashion history and when Arie Lavi writes:"Legendary Nurit Bat-Yaar's book gives Maskit a very honorary emphasis" and elaborates on the reasons for it - he demonstrates his deep understanding of this very special phenomena. Originally, Maskit was founded by the visionary Rut Dayan in order to provide livelihood to the many newcomers who immigrated to Israel at its inception. However, by doing so Rut Dayan not only enabled them to earn their living doing what they liked and were good at (rather than teaching them the suggested agricultural know-how) - she also led to the creation of Israel's visual culture. Most specifically to an original, rich colorful and uniquely Israeli fashion style. She achieved this by taking the very creative designer Fini Leitersdor whose Boho-Chic style was the perfect match for the arts and crafts of the Hebrew tribes gathered from over 100 diasporas. Leitersdorf incorporated them in her timeless avant-garde bohemian fashion designs.
According to Nurit Bat-Yaar", Lavie continues, "In Maskit Dayan and Leitersdorf fulfilled Ben-Gurion's vision of a melting pot incorporating in the designs Yemenite embroidery and jewelry making methods, Iraqi hand-weaving techniques, Beduin wool and the use of coins, local olive-wood buttons, and sea-shell as well as other cultural values such as elements inspired by archaeological findings etc. The uniquely Israeli style was later further developed by additional designers Maskit hired such as Gideon Oberson, Tamara Yovel Jones, and Rozi Ben Yosef who contributed her special Kefia-fabric kaftans she had developed in her own Rikma (embroidery)
Maskit succeeded on the international arena as well; its hand-woven leather and wool fabrics created by Neora Warshavsky were used by Paris haute-couture YSL, Mark Bohan of Dior, N.Y's Pauline Trigere etc. Its designs were sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, B.Altman's and Macy's. Fini's Leitersdorf most famous designs were her desert coats, one of which was taken off her shoulders by Hollywood Star and fashion icon Katherine Hepburn.
Even today, some Israeli designers such as Sasson Kedem, Yaron Minkowski, Dorin Frankfurt, and Comme-il-faut attempt to continue the Maskit heritage of the 50s to 80s by applying Ethiopian, Palestinian and Beduin embroidery in their designs.
The picture above is a 1969 Ben Lam photo of an embroidered Beduine Kaftan Fini Leitersdorf of Maskit was inspired by.
Other photos of Leitersdorf creations from the album-book
"שיכרון עיצובים - אמנות האופנה בישראל 1948-2008
, can be seen in the posts from April 27, March 13, March 8, and February 18