By Avigayil Kadesh
“I was very surprised by the creativity and freshness of the Israeli designers,” says Antonio Mancinelli, senior editor of the Italian Marie Claire magazine, on his first trip to Israel.
Mancinelli was one of about 30 foreign fashion and lifestyle journalists who came to Israel to cover Tel Aviv Fashion Week 2012 from November 11-13. The roster of participants included leading opinion-makers from fashion magazines Vogue in Paris and Italy; Marie Claire in Italy; Elle in the United States; InStyle from Russia and Flair and Glamour in France and Germany.
Though some departed right after the event, others stayed on to take advantage of sightseeing trips in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Haifa and Caesarea, among other Israeli cities.
“For myself, the most memorable part of the trip, for sure, was seeing Jerusalem,” says Mancinelli. “As a journalist, I was very happy to see the professional shows at Fashion Week.”
He was planning to write a long article for the March issue of Marie Claire (on newsstands February 15, 2013) focusing on new upcoming designers in Israel. “These are new names in fashion -- at least new to us, and I think also for the Italian people,” says Mancinelli.
He noted “a surge of Israeli identity in fashion,” a trend he took as particularly healthy. “They don’t have to copy Europeans,” says Mancinelli.
Lisa Lerner of the Russian InStyle adds that the fashions on display were eclectic. “It’s very interesting that each designer has his or her own style -- some haute couture, some everyday wear – so there is not one Israeli style.”
Michal Negrin fashions at TA Fashion Week
‘This can be really huge’
For many years, Tel Aviv Fashion Week took place in a tent, and then didn’t take place at all. Three years ago, founder and organizer Ofir Lev decided to revive and upgrade the event, which now draws increasing foreign interest.
Lerner predicted that Tel Aviv Fashion Week “can really be huge in a few years.”
David Roth, a reporter with Fashion Daily TV in Germany, says he was infected by the excitement among the viewers of the shows.
“You can tell [Tel Aviv Fashion Week] is still young, because everyone in the audience was so enthusiastic, especially compared to shows in Paris and Milan,” says Roth, who filmed the audience as part of his multipart series on Fashion Week.
Roth also interviewed members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, regarding the proposed “Photoshop Law” that would forbid altering images of fashion models in advertisements to make them slimmer, and would impose regulations on underweight models so as to discourage eating disorders among young women.
“I spoke with several people who are influential in advocating for this law, and with Israeli editors of fashion magazines,” says Roth. “The whole world is looking at Israel to see if this will work and if so, it will influence other countries.”