|A Fini Leitersdorf creation inspired by Yohanan Simon's painting from Nurit Bat-Yaar's book "Israel Fashion Art". Photo: Ben Lam|
Hi, I have just returned from the opening of a very special exhibit which will be open to the public for one week beginning this Sunday. It's an exhibit of Israel's most inspiring designer "Maskit"' Fini Leitersdorf held at Vila D in Neve Tsedek by her grandaughter Dushi Leitersdorf.
This exhibit is very special to me on several counts. Firstly, because of the uniquness of Fini's timeless artistic creations most of which can be worn today inspite of the fact that they were created in the 60s and the 70s.
Secondly, because of the extremely important part Fini played in the creation and the consolidation of the identity of Israel's style's which was the triger for my writing my book. She did it by applying the arts and crafts of the Hebrew tribes gathered together from over 100 diasporas to western timeless bohemian lines in a very remarkable and admirable way.
The third reason I enjoyed the exhibit so much - is that it enables people to see live quite a number of the designs depicted in the album-book "Israel Fashion Art" "שיכרון עיצובים - אמנות האופנה בישראל" photos. The one seen here, for example, that was inspired by a painting of Yohanan Simon - opens the chapter Fashion & Art - A Love Story. Others, enrich the chapters about the use of coins, of seashells, of bejeweled gowns, of hoods, of textiles etc.
Finally, the exhibit took me back to my youth when Fini Leitersdorf who saw me (when at my dad's request I delivered to her studio some olive wood buttons), insisted I become her model. Although at the time I refused, I eventually did participate in a modeling course she opened-up for Maskit. And it was my modeling career (along with a fashion illustration courses I took) which opened for me the door to the world fashion journalism. So, in addition to my great admiration of Fini I feel that she provided me with the jumping board to my career.
Another fine memory of Fini I have relates to my artistic creativity. She once invited me to the opening of a painting exhibit of her husband artist Yohanan Simon. I showed up in a dress I designed myself in the spirit of the Maskit's multi-cultural meets pure western lines- concept. Many of the guests assumed it was Fini's latest creation. Fini, Larger than life as she was, came over to me, shared with me that info and told me "Nurit - you are a fashion personality!" This was the greatest compliment one could get from such a gifted designer, and I felt that it definitely gave me the stamp of approval into the artistic magical realm of fashion.