|Alber Elbaz 1987 design while still a Shenkar Student. Photo: Samy Ben-Gad. An "Israel Fashion Art 1948-2008" album book exclusive.|
Hi, on the happy occasion of Facebook's Fan Club of the book "Israel Fashion Art 1948-2008"
"שיכרון עיצובים - אמנות האופנה בישראל" having reached the round cute number (with its 3 infinity signs) of 888 Book's Fans I've uploaded this ALBER ELBAZ photo taken by Sami Ben-Gad, and modeled by Hanoch Reichelson.
This Boho-chic very captivating outfit was created by Alber in 1987 while he was a Shenkar student, his unique talent already showing up. In case you are not aware of it, about three years ago or so Alber made Time magazine's most prestigious 100 list and U.S. Vogue wrote that he turned Lavin's into the most desired label in the world.
Alber Elbaz also kindly wrote one of the introductions to my album book. So, if you are wondering how in the world did I manage to have this fashion world leader, admired and cherished by so many, write for me the introduction to my book? Well, it only took a phone call and a couple of reminders to this world-trotting designer. This is because in spite of Alber's unbelievable success, he remained the humble Prince Charming he always was (which is also one of his secrets of success), never forgetting who helped him when he had just started his career and even prior to it.
To tell you the truth, in my eyes Alber is no less than my very own surrealistic fable. Something that maybe can happen (if at all) only once in a lifetime. It is all told partly in his introduction to my book and in the book's Chapter "On the map - Israel Dresses World's Leading Fashion Icons." But I'll briefly recap the story here.
When I got a phone call in 1981 from an anonymous caller who introduced himself as a guide-soldier in charge of cultural affairs requesting that I give a talk about fashion at an event he wanted to organize for a group of female soldiers with Liza Boker designs and two of the leading models of the time, Tami Ben-Ami and Pinchy Mor - I wasn't prepared to say yes. But something in his personality (G-d knows what, perhaps his charm) must have convinced me to do it and I said OK to this 19 yr old soldier. Did I know then that this youngster would one day step into YSL's shoes designing the King's Rive Gauche line while the Master was still alive and personally approve the choice of his replacement?
No one could have predicted it then. That's why it sounds so surrealistic to me. A couple of weeks after the event for which Alber sent me a framed thank-you from his army department - his second call arrived. This time he was asking whether I would agree to meet with him again in order to take a look at some fashion drawing he created. Always searching after new budding talents - this was a request I couldn't refuse. He showed me his very colorful and vivid illustrations which definitely expressed his imaginative approach to fashion design. I praised him, adding a small piece of advice of my own suggesting he limit the number of exciting zones in one gown to preferably one point of intense attraction.
The next thing I knew Alber was accepted to Shenkar as a student. I kept track of him and his work there and posted one of his first Shenkar designs (Tami Ben-Ami modeling along with Basketball star Olsi Perry's son) on "Yedioth Ahronot"'s news pages. It was at the time the newspaper added color and the news pages editor Moshe Vardi requested I'd take advantage of it and contribute some of my fashion images to add pizazz to those pages as well.
Needless to say, I also reported about Alber's original outfits which he wore to the parties held at Shenkar. Nor did I miss any important move he made in the international arena, traveling to N.Y to interview him at Geoffrey Beene's, interviewing him once he moved to Paris to "Guy Laroche", attending his historic 1st YSL fashion show in Paris , including his YSL and Guy Laroche images in the exhibit "Glimpses of Glamour in The Mirror of a Century" which I curated (and which opened the millennium at Israel Photography Museum in Tel-Hai), talking with him when he did a special line for Italian designer Krizia, and covering his fabulous success at Lanvin.
It's been good to know you cultural-affairs soldier guide turned into a fabled Prince Charming Alber. Many thanks for the wonderful introduction you kindly wrote for my fashion album-book. It sort of closes a circle.