Some Israeli Fashion History
Israeli fashion expert Nurit Bat-Yaar, author of the book “Israel Fashion Art 1948-2008″
(“שיכרון עיצובים – אמנות האופנה בישראל”) has really inspired me to find out more about the history of Israeli fashion and how it came to be what it is today (and why!) Here are some things that have been uncovered…
|A 1976 Lea Gottlieb design for Gottex from "Israel Fashion Album 1948-2008" by Nurit Bat-Yaar, taken By Ben Lam.|
Now, some background on Nurit Bat-Yaar. Bat-Yaar had no idea that a short run as a model would lead her to writing about the world of fashion but when she entered the style world, she knew she had found her calling. Bat-Yaar was first a model of Maskit’s multicultural designs, which led her to meet the right people, who discovered she had a knack for fashion writing.
Bat-Yaar is a former fashion editor of Israel’s most widely circulated daily newspaper “Yedioth Ahronoth.” For 26 years, she had the opportunity to discover new budding designers in Israel and give them a springboard to show their work.
Before her 26-year stint, Bat-Yaar introduced Israeli readers to American fashion as a reporter for the “Maariv” daily newspaper where she wrote about NY’s leading designers for 5 years.
Bat-Yaar has reported from Europe and US Fashion Weeks about the latest international trends and has interviewed the world’s leading designers. She’s had a regular fashion spot in cable TV lifestyle programs. She participated in a documentary about the history of beauty in Israel and was a guest judge on Israel’s Project Runway. She was the curator of the exhibition “Glimpses of Glamour- Fashion Photography in the Mirror of a Century” which opened in the “Israel Museum of Photography” at Tel-Hai. No big surprise there, after all, Bat-Yaar studied fashion illustration under Riki Ben-Ari who illustrated Suzy Menkes fashion reports in the British Times and The Evening Standard. She also graduated with a degree in art and philosophy of the esthetics from New Jersey’s Upsala College and studied fashion design at the Washington D.C. Ardis School of Design.
She has often been described in Israeli media as Israel’s “first lady of fashion and reporting.
In the very eye-opening interview with Bat-Yaar, I learned a lot about the history of Israeli fashion and it left me wondering why fashion here is not on the world map (at least as much as it was in the 60s and 70s, as Nurit mentioned in her answers to the questions.) Hence, the biggest reason I’m mentioning it here and perhaps a small step in the mission of my blog: to promote the potential of the talented designers, labels, and fashionistas we have here in Israel.
» According to Bat-Yaar, present day Israelis know very little about the heritage of Israel’s fashion industry and its fabulous success on the international arena
» Back in the 60s and 70s, and to a certain extant in the 80s as well, exotic styles and ethnic fabrics (Yemenite embroidery, kafias, were much more popular in Israel than the mod, indie styles of today).
“Designers were more oriented to the country’s cultural resources and used them as an inspiration. Today, on the other hand, globalization has taken over. Companies go to far-eastern low-cost labor manufacturers. Young designers (once hired by the export industry) now work on a small scale in their own studios.”–Nurit Bat-Yaar
» Stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana wore designs by Israeli designers
» Israelis have done much in the world of fashion. Gottex is one of the most famous swimwear lines in the world and Zuri Guetta invented the use of silicone incorporated fabric whose clients include leading haute-couture Paris designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier.
» Designers like Donna Karan and John Galliano have assisted students at Shenkar with internships and apprenticeships.
For more of Keren Ben-Horin’s great interview, please visit her post: From Rags To Riches: Israeli Fashion Rediscovered in the link: http://pinsndls.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/from-rags-to-riches-israeli-fashion-rediscovered/
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Nurit Bat-Yaar, author of "שיכרון עיצובים - אמנות האופנה בישראל 1948-2008"