The colorful and cheerful spirit of comic strips pervaded an exhibition by graduating fashion designers last week, overriding the ominous presence of one particular color: red, as in the Code Red siren that warned the designers, models and guests at Hangar 11 at the Tel Aviv Port to take shelter just as the fashion show was about to begin.
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As the slight panic subsided last Tuesday evening, the show put on by 40 graduating students at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design offered up a simple message in complicated times: “Let us entertain you.”
The pinks, yellows, reds and pale blues of the vinyl curtains that served as the raw material for the collection designed by Golan Taub set the stage for the rest of the successful, color-infused show.
Lina Abas’ outstanding homage to the world-famous Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum was one of the best collections on display, showing consistent quality — rich shades of white and precise finishing touches — that was not afraid to move out of the mainstream.
Gustavo M. Franco showed a similar degree of maturity and coherence. Both Franco and Noga Winokur had complex designs, but it was Winokur’s collection, which featured woven clothes that appeared transparent and fragile clothes that had a heavy presence, that turned out to be even better upon closer examination than it had looked on the runway.
Maya Azan’s collection also looked different on the runway, where phosphorescent sneakers and bouquets of flowers gave an interesting direction to the sweet vision represented by her saccharine neoprene dresses in shades of pink and red.
Children have a tendency to be show stealers, but Einav Dalva’s collection of children’s clothing, though captivating, did not dominate the exhibition. The cut of the tailored clothes seemed unsuited to children, yet the lack of logic and the extensive effort put into garments purportedly intended for those who will shortly grow out of them created a sweet nonsense poem.
Shenkar fashion design graduates typically create spectacular collections whose primary purpose is to make a strong impression rather than to be wearable, and those who didn’t make such bold moves ended up falling short.
With some more thought, Ben Zeiger’s entire collection could have shown the same quality as his black knit dress with eye-catching faux ostrich plumes. Elisha Abargel’s collection, on the other hand, certainly had momentum but was presented as a prolonged visual scream.
Sometimes designers go in multiple directions when they should have just stuck with a single theme. Yael Ben Yaacov, for instance, would have made a better impression if her entire collection had been as good as her tailored dress of floral print fabric with a neon-pink spot at the bottom or her dress with gathered pleats that created a pattern of broken stripes in the front.