MEET: ELISHA ABARGEL

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The first tour, I remember clearly to this day: morning in Tel Aviv, A tall thin woman with a huge smile, accompanied by three other charming women, came into the store. While she was talking about Israeli fashion, I introduced myself and explained my work, and she began to connect all the dots of creation and innovation in the emerging and exciting world of Israeli fashion” - that was the beginning of our journey together ... with a huge smile!”

That is Elisha’s memory too of our first connection, a beautiful relationship that still evolves every day. I have to admit that and we still haven’t stopped laughing together, and TLVstyle clients have the privilege of meeting one of the most promising upcoming designers in Israel, and through the tour they get an understanding of my vision of his work – advanced, innovative fashion. Always brave, pushing the boundaries of Israel's fashion scene, bringing new messaging and communicating the free spirit of a singular fashion entrepreneur.

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One of the special collaborations we have done recently happened when six months ago, I got a surprising phone call offering me the opportunity to be part of his current catalog collection. Of course I was super excited and honored. I know how much he cares about the women who wear his fashions, and wants to offer them unique clothes, and so therefore, it was a huge treat to be his muse for a day and to model his beautiful pieces. As Elisha mentioned: “The photographs with Galit represent for me the connection between us; two people who prevent from a good conversation, sincerity, thought, color and joy” (MAKEUP: NOFAR COHEN, HAIR: OMRI RESHEF, PHOTOGRAPHY: ADI TARKAY)

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I am so happy to share few images I liked the best, but also a video which I took during one of my visit to his studio where I interviewed him about Israeli fashion – his answers, as usual, were integrative and interesting.

Interview by: Jonny Manousaridis

For 2019, I wish to raise and promote the conversation of Israeli fashion and to introduce more international audiences to our remarkable rising talents. To run pop-up collaboration, host an interesting panel about slow fashion, traditional vs. innovation in fashion, and uniqueness in the Israeli fashion arena.

 

FASHION STATEMENT: DECODING ISRAELI DRESS

On June 7th, 2018 was held the grand opening of the first Major Exhibition Dedicated to Israeli Fashion in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. We, the fashion activists, are thriving for this kind of exhibitions in Israel and therefore the opening night was filled with fashion gurus, designers and influences walking around with excitement experiencing the pioneering presentation on the origins of Israel’s globally-trendsetting fashion design.

 BOOK COVER: MICHA KIRSHNER

BOOK COVER: MICHA KIRSHNER

The curators illustrate a large scale-exhibition in the broad scope of fashion in Israel from its deep historical roots to contemporary collections. They chose to divide the fashion narrative into four main themes, thus in that way catalyzing deeper understanding of Israel’s fashion legacy and extending our commitment to providing a platform for the country’s breadth of creative expression by creating a provoking dialogue about tradition and modernity, myth and reality and conflicting ideologies.

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"Fashion Statement" explores fashion design from the late 19thcentury indigenous pre-Zionist “fashion,” through the opposing forces of Europeanism and Orientalism.  These designs converged in the early decades of the state, from the phenomena of such leading industries and fashion houses as Gottex, Maskit and Rojy Ben-Joseph, to contemporary leading fashion designers with a global following.

Holy/Land – Israel’s landscape and history serves as a shared source of inspiration for the many communities that coexist in the country. This section explores sartorial traditions from around the globe, showcasing the rich variety of local fashion, ranging from form-fitting European styles to wide and flowing Middle Eastern fashions. The outfits on view represent a variety of materials and meanings; they can be made out of the wool of local sheep or from silk imported from exotic lands; their colors run the gamut from soft desert hues to the vibrant tones of Central Asia; and while some emphasize national roots, others reflect personal stories that originate far away from Israel. 

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The Kaffiyeh is charged with national and political meaning and story of its integration into, and the rejection from local fashion. reflects the evolution of the relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel.

Sacred and Profane

This place, which is sacred to the three monotheistic religions, has served as a constant source of inspiration for local fashion - from the use of colors, ornaments and symbols associated with religion, through a vibrant dialogue with the charateristics of religious fress and all the way to designs that smack of heresy.

Austerity/Prosperity - the garments on display represent two sets of aesthetic ideals that differ with respect to design, manufacturing, marketing, and message. They derive from two opposing ideologies that coexisted in the early decades of the State – Socialism and Liberalism. ATA's utilitarian and monochromatic clothes, mass-produced and blurring differences of class and gender, represented socialist values. In contrast, urban wear retained the European style of couture and tailoring. Both approaches were rooted in Europe, drawing their ideas from Proletarian movements on the one hand and from the global fashion capitals on the other. 

Made in Israel - this section showcases the two facets of the "made-in-Israel" brand: the fashion industry and independent fashion designers. Established in the 1930s, the Israeli fashion industry flourished to global acclaim in the 1960s and 1970s. Labels such as Gottex, Beged Or, and Polgat were known worldwide, and the clothes they produced were worn by such style icons as Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Sophia Loren. Extensive support from the government enabled hundreds of fashion houses to open and led to the establishment of Israel's Fashion Week in 1965 by the Export Institute, which aimed to transform Tel Aviv into a fashion capital that would draw professional buyers from all over the world.

Fashion now - In 1983, Riki Ben-Ari, who has been called the "Oracle of fashion," predicted the revolution that would take place in the local fashion world, from mass-produced confection collections to signature designer creations. And indeed, the rules of the game have changed. The challenges faced by the industry today are multiple and include a lack of raw materials and skilled manpower, tough competition, and a small market in international terms. Yet at the same time designers have at their disposal a whole new range of tools. Many of them improvise, improving or producing new and unique materials. There are also innovative ways of reaching new markets. Each one of the designers whose work is shown in this section illuminates a different aspect of today's fashion industry in Israel, presenting a complex view of the relationship between local and global identity. They move between the poles of handicraft and cutting-edge technology, and some stretch the notion of material to its very limits. At times the garment serves as a canvas for social ideals, and at others it goes all the way from its original utilitarian purpose to being a true work of art.

  Sigal   Dekel and Yossi Zene

Sigal Dekel and Yossi Zene

 Shachar avnet

Shachar avnet

 Amir marc

Amir marc

While the exhibition featured over 150 outfits and included religious and national symbolism with inspiration drawn from Israel’s landscapes and influence of encounters with a diverse range of traditional dress, both Jewish and Arab - I was happy to see more samples stories and samples from the current vivid industry that is raising and shaping its identity again, as well including some co-existence stories that are so important for the narrative of the middle east.

For any visitor, this exhibition was eye opening and shared a beautiful journey in our short but special story of the Israeli fashion industry. After this visit I welcome you to join one of my tours to deepen the conversation through private experiences in the designers studios and working spaces.

Curators: Noga Eliash-Zalmanovich, Associate Curator, Stella Fischbach Department of Modern Art; Efrat Assaf-Shapira, Associate Curator in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life; Curator-in-charge Daisy Raccah-Djivre, Chief Curator, the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life; and exhibition initiator and adviser Tamara Yovel-Jones, a leading fashion designer and educator in Israel.

 

TLVSTYLE IN ST. LOUIS

My journey to St Louis started on November 2018 when the following message hit my mailing box: “Hi Galit, I wanted to reach out to let you know that we at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis (in Women's Philanthropy) would be very interested in talking with you about coming to St. Louis to be our featured speaker for the Lion of Judah/Pomegranate donor appreciation event in April of 2018. Is this something that you would consider?”

That moment I knew that my mission of TLVstyle continues in the right direction. I was filled with joy and fulfillment and couldn’t wait for our Skype call to confirm my arrival. The day of the event was set for May 14th. High season for the incoming tourism in Israel, yet I was happy to take advantage and choose in the other side of the world and that was so rewarded.

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The event was held in the beautiful venue of Sack Fifth Avenue store with decorated with stylish shoes bouquets and kosher dishes

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I was honored to give a talk about Israeli fashion front influential women while in the audience sits the honoring guest Marilyn Fox.

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II was honored to give a talk about Israeli fashion front influential women while in the audience sits the honoring guest Marilyn Fox. That was very special for me to share my point of view on the Israeli fashion industry through my 12 years of experience, inside and outside Israel, with the focus on the six years of activity in the fashion tourism service and that since than be able to engage, educate and inspire my people with the story of the local fashion industry.

I love to quote of Albert Einstein who once said: "Creativity is contagious, pass it on" and to have the privilege to pass my passion and knowledge to beautiful communities of Jewish women in the USA. Talking about the fashion history to nowadays values aside the challenges that are shaping the industry and allow it to become a unique hub of creativity filled with innovation of mindsets, materials and technologies.

 left: michal hidas dress, a collaboratpn with Palestinian architect from Gaza

left: michal hidas dress, a collaboratpn with Palestinian architect from Gaza

 left: adi benjo dress & moran porat necklace. right: elisha abargel

left: adi benjo dress & moran porat necklace. right: elisha abargel

Israel fashion had and will have many faces for creation and success. Israel is an exhilarating blend of ancient cultures and cutting-edge innovation. It’s a lot about the human spirit and the fashion entrepreneurs. It’s about originality, approachable, grounded and brave designs. I see in the fashion story that can be parallel to the establishment of Israel. It is the story of the growth of creativity when everything comes together to a beautiful colorful HUMAN FABRIC.

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 Patty Croughan, prebious chirman of the Jewish Federation of St.Louis

Patty Croughan, prebious chirman of the Jewish Federation of St.Louis

 maskit coat and doraya handbag

maskit coat and doraya handbag

 lEFT: Hannah DESIGN. right: tamar branisky designs

lEFT: Hannah DESIGN. right: tamar branisky designs

I enjoyed bringing stories to the audience who were all inspired and thankful, as well as I am.

 

WHAT'S NEXT

Few months ago I got a phone call from Matthias telling me that he read an article about the Israel fashion week and I was quoted there and that he loved my point of view on the emerging community. He shared with me his new project on TLV featuring Israeli creators in different fields and asked me to curate the list for him. We decided together to focus on surprising stories and feature passionate people who are in an ongoing journey of growth and creation. The final 8 chosen people where so touching and inspiring. All are following their truth; all were so grounded and humble. I feel it shows what I love so much to do to bring fresh perspective of the human talents who work in our creative hub. The piece will be published in a German Magazine ‘What’s Next’ coming out in May in 8 languages. The prestigious issue will be printed version only and therefore since I won’t have an online link I am thrilling to share now some great moments from the behind the scene experince.

 
  Visiting Tamar Branitzky, a textile designer and textile artist. She established her colorful studio in Tel Aviv 8 year ago, creating printed scarves and fabrics for fashion and interior decoration, inspired by the local Israeli landscape and the beauty of Tel Aviv around her.

Visiting Tamar Branitzky, a textile designer and textile artist. She established her colorful studio in Tel Aviv 8 year ago, creating printed scarves and fabrics for fashion and interior decoration, inspired by the local Israeli landscape and the beauty of Tel Aviv around her.

 
  VISITING narkis alon who creates nurturing environments that stimulate exponential growth of individuals and organizations. 

VISITING narkis alon who creates nurturing environments that stimulate exponential growth of individuals and organizations. 

  Shachaf Dekel is a video artist whose works deal with different layers of language, empathy, and the way they are transformed through human experience.

Shachaf Dekel is a video artist whose works deal with different layers of language, empathy, and the way they are transformed through human experience.

 sIVAN tALMOR mUSICIAN

sIVAN tALMOR mUSICIAN

  Maria Green Povarchick is the vivid spirit behind the Israeli Supergirls community. With more than 60,000 women in online and offline events, Supergirls is Israel’s leading all-women community. For that, she won a place in the Forbes “under 30” list, as well as in the “100 influencers in the digital world” list

Maria Green Povarchick is the vivid spirit behind the Israeli Supergirls community. With more than 60,000 women in online and offline events, Supergirls is Israel’s leading all-women community. For that, she won a place in the Forbes “under 30” list, as well as in the “100 influencers in the digital world” list

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I was so honored to get Matthias feedback on TripAdvisor after our wonderful days. he wrote: "sometimes life gets in an unstoppable flow. I had to cover creatives in TLV for magazine WHAT’S NEXT, powered by avant-garde hair-cosmetic brand Sebastian Professional. I knew TLV from several former visits but had no bigger access to creatives in the city. I booked Galit and at a sudden everything seemed to be easy. I don’t know if I kept Galit more busy or the opposite around J : together we realized a three day tour de force throughout the creative scene of TLV. Visited fashion and textile designers, video artist, entrepreneurs and chefs. The result; a wonderful, very personal production with inspiring interviews. Galit opened me the doors to the creatives and their studios and homes in TLV, the talents opened me throughout their warm eyes insights in their rich, inspiring inner life. I just got to love each of the them! I am so grateful for everything I was allowed to experience within the last days. Thank you Galit for making this unique experience possible and enriching my life!"

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“JE T’AIME, RONIT ELKABETZ”

Dreams from the wardrobe  - November 28 -   April 30, 2018

 Ronit Elkabetz Photographer Gabriel Baharlia 2011 ©

Ronit Elkabetz Photographer Gabriel Baharlia 2011 ©

One of the more intriguing exhibitions opened last week at the Design Museum Holon: “Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz”, an exhibition created in collaboration between film director Shlomi Elkabetz and fashion curator and historian Ya’ara Keydar.

It was powerful and inspiring to attend the opening night with hundreds of guests who honored Elkabetz memory, who passed away last year in the age of 51 only.

 Photographer Gil Hayun 2015 © Ronit Elkabetz in a gown by Alber Elbaz at Gindi TLV Fashion week 2015

Photographer Gil Hayun 2015 © Ronit Elkabetz in a gown by Alber Elbaz at Gindi TLV Fashion week 2015

Ronit Elkabetz was an award-winning actress, director, screenwriter and fashion icon, had a prolific 27-year long career, which she divided between Israel and Paris. The exhibition is the result of an 18-month-long research in her wardrobe, comprising 528 apparel items meticulously collected and stored in Tel Aviv and Paris over four decades and recently donated by the Yashar and Elkabetz families to Design Museum Holon. 

“This exhibition looks inward at an iconic and inspirational muse who transcended cinema, art, fashion and activism; in this sense Design Museum Holon is re-claiming the ancient Greek meaning of the museum as "the muse", seeking to inspire people and invite them into a thought-provoking dialogue where design, culture and art are melded” says Maya Dvash, Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon.

The exhibition is divided into 31 ‘scenes’, illustrating how Elkabetz created and reasserted the act of dressing as a transgressive performative act, charging the garment with powerful meanings and imbuing it with her own subjectivity and personal interpretation. Together with movies, video art projections and clips from her red-carpet moments and fashion and editorial photoshoots, as well as Elkabetz’s notes and sketches, the exhibition provides an almost tangible encounter with Elkabetz’s multi-layered identity. 

“Fashion, the stated discipline the show is born of, is revealed to be a complex tapestry telling a rich story. Each object in this treasure trove has a biographical, symbolical and psychological significance. Fashion for Elkabetz was a way of transcending the physical appearance and creating an identity cherishing transgression, freedom, sexuality, identity and power through fabric. It was and still is a source of power for women everywhere. On screen, on stage, on the red carpet, anywhere and everywhere – Elkabetz shone a light on otherness, on difference, on the margins, allowing us to dare and dream of another reality – and make it a reality." Ya’ara Keydar, Fashion Historian and curator of Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz

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Working from the political reality of her ancestry – both distant and immediate – focusing on dress allowed her to highlight and express the place of the other, of the exceptional. Doing this, she revalorized difference, transforming it from something that should be denied and suppressed into a reality that should be fostered and nourished, used to create new standards – “visiblising” the other, making it memorable. She was removed from the fashion world, but was simultaneously at its very heart, creating new subjects to look at, making people wonder what had brought about her choice to become ‘the queen of black’ – even when wearing white. Under her hands, dress became a live action, a performance combining the ways we are gazed at with the way we gaze at ourselves." Shlomi Elkabetz, Artistic Director of Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz

 "pirat skirt" Yaniv persy 2015-2017 nfinished design for a bespoke)

"pirat skirt" Yaniv persy 2015-2017 nfinished design for a bespoke)

 

CREATIVE TOURISM AWARDS

I am thrilled and honored to share that the International Jury of the Creative Tourism Awards announced that TLVstyle has been awarded “Best Creative Travel Agency 2017 ".

The Jury of the Creative Tourism Awards highlighted TLVstyle’s originality for offering the traveler the opportunity to discover the local culture through encounters with its creators and activities related to the fashion and the traditional and contemporary know-how and creations.

TLVstyle’s contributes this way to differentiate the tourist offer of the destination with a quality proposal, but also to create a value chain by involving a wide array of local stakeholders and more specifically from the creative industries; by supporting the artistic creation and the intangible heritage, by enhancing the image of the city through positive experiences that seduces the new generation of travelers but can fit with different tourist segments as well. The Jury also underlined TLVstyle strong professional background and visual image and the tourists’ positive reviews on social media

The international members of the jury had the difficult task to select the awardees representing five categories, among 205 applications, all accrediting a high level of creativity, authenticity and sustainability. I am honored that TLVstyle (Israel) was chosen to be aside four other awarded creative countries:

Best Strategy for Creative Tourism Development: Patchwork Methodology (Brazil)
Best Creative Residency: New Hermopolis  (Egypt)
Best Creative Travel Agency:  TLVstyle (Israel)
Best Creative Destination: (Ex-aequo): Hull 2017 (UK) /Aegean Islands (Greece)
Best Creative Experiences: Local Moods (Greece)

The winners of the Creative Tourism Awards 2017 have been revealed within the World Travel Market in London, one of the most important international tourist fairs.

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TAGLIT IS IN THE HOUSE.

I was honored to be part of "Tel Aviv My Way" program last May – a special program of Birth Right that hosted hundreds of young Americas who experienced Tel Aviv through variety of angles. One of their options was to sign to a fashion experience and I was so pleased to give 9 lectures in overall to 500 Birth-Righters choosing to learn about the Israel fashion. It was important for me to build a presentation that will be dynamic and relevant to the young audience; however I couldn’t skip the history and chose to share the stories through entrepreneurs’ point of view and I loved to see them listening eagerly.

I shared with them my point of view on innovation as part of the future of the fashion industry – not only through technologies, but ideas, forms and materials. I enlighten them with co-existence stories, the slow fashion growing movement and make sure all is rich with examples from our local emerging designer’s stories, defining the uniqueness of the DNA of our community and society.

 
 TLVSTYLE CLIENTS' DEFINITION FOR THE ISRAELI FASHION

TLVSTYLE CLIENTS' DEFINITION FOR THE ISRAELI FASHION

 

VISITING JERUSALEM.

The fashion tours that I lead through TLVstyle focused in Tel Aviv area, not only because Tel Aviv is the fashion capital of Israel, but because most of the young designers are heading to live and work in the center of Israel after graduating the fashion schools. Yet, in my activity I am following and in ongoing research for the talents that are located all over Israel and I am trying to expose them to my audience in any occasion that I have; if its Jewish federations big presentations or customized content events. While I keep getting requests to run the fashion tours in Jerusalem,  and although found it super interesting, I feel that the time still hasn’t arrived. However, when one of the designers, Adi Yair, a native Jerusalemite, graduated from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, that I personally love and appreciate her work, decided to established her brand in Jerusalem and lately opened her studio in historical sharing working space - I thought it will be wonderful to share it so everyone will be able to visit in person.

The location is the Alliance House located at the heart of Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda Market. The Alliance House, which opened in 1880 as one of the first modern schools in Jerusalem and has stood abandoned for the past 20 years, in now operated by the "New Spirit" organization and serves as a center for creative Jerusalem based communities. Art, theater, music, dance, photography and poetry fill the house with contemporary vibrant creativity. This enables mutual inspiration that lead to partnerships and collaborations between the various groups. The space offers a look into the creative processes that lead to the final products, and reveals the stories and personalities of the designers. 

BIRTH.

Welcome to my personal world of inspiration, feelings and ideas, where I will share with you all I experience in TLVstyle life and the world of Israelis design. I will share the best stories and my photography’s captured from my life in Tel Aviv and around the world related to local community. 

However, before starting diving into that exciting experience I want to devote this post for BIRTH; birth of my spirit, entrepreneurial world and my child. 

Turning point of my journey started 10 years ago when I started my spiritual journey after almost a decade in the Media filed. Around that time I was lucky enough to start a wonderful position as marketing manager in a fashion distribution company that brought me to New York few times a year and proudly represented a collective of Israeli accessories designers. For 4.5 years I did this “shuttle” TLV-NY with joy and lots of passion, meeting new friends from all over the world and establishing ongoing business opportunities for the designers. Yet, something was missing – I was missing my ground and my connection to the city I love so much – Tel Aviv!  

When I turn 35 years old I did an exceptional spiritual journey that taught me a lesson about freeing our spirit and soul. Following that I knew that I need to quit my job and fulfilling my dreams. 6 months later I established the first fashion tourism service in Israel that i called TLVstyle – a company that combines my passion to TLV, local creativity and international people. 

Since 2012 I have been honored to lead both private and group tours – for clients visiting from over 15 countries – in addition to hosting fashion, art, and textile events, both within and outside of Israel.  I love what I do, I found my mission and excited to share it with you. I welcome you to join my journey and discover yourself the uniqness and originality of this evolving industry.