Tel Aviv Fashion Week: A Silly Dance and Longings for the '80s

Tovale had a choreographer start her show with a dance, while Raziela alluded to the '80s. These weren't the only missteps on days 3 and 4.

Wednesday at Tel Aviv Fashion Week opened with a jumbo show by designer Yaron Minkowski. The Israeli presented all the possibilities when it comes to evening gowns and cocktail dresses.

There were wafer-thin, maxi-length chiffon dresses, handwoven with hundreds – if not thousands – of circles of shiny cloth in the form of a tank top with very thin epaulets.

Later on there were knee-length dresses on which the ultra-thin chiffon was embroidered in shiny black threads reminiscent of cobwebs – just where modesty is required. Many of Minkowski’s clients are society women from abroad flocking to official dinners, fancy operas and ballet premieres.

A bit of the ‘80s

Paris was present on Tuesday. The Eifel Tower was seen in the opening video, and the chansons that accompanied designer Raziela’s presentation left no doubt – she’s a bit nostalgic. Dresses, skirts and tops mixed in with wide sweaters, pants and shirts of knitted wool, not to mention a host of well-made leather items.

The Raziela woman is strong, sexy and rich. In some ways she’s an ‘80s-style woman, with dominant eye shadow and pointed shoulders. Meanwhile, the dresses combine transparency and unapologetic sparkles. There’s no doubt this is a work of craftsmanship.

Feminine feelings

The Comme Il Faut brand featured “real women” – women no longer in their 20s who are not professional models. They were dressed in light, airy frocks.

In the literature it was written that “feminine feelings” inspired the collection; feelings like compassion, caring, worry and love and their alleged inferiority to “masculine” attributes.

Looking at the runway, you couldn’t tell what the meaning of all this was, including when the models were covered in white fabrics nurse-style. All told, the clothes were usually tailored with a light hand in shades of black and white, with flickerings of bold shades of turquoise or mustard yellow.

Stumbling on the runway

Two models in Shay Shalom’s show stumbled in the middle of the runway because of their impossible heels. Shalom’s show stumbled Wednesday because of the weight of the clothes and the confusion. (Is it winter? Is it summer?) There was a feeling that one of his strong points – light, well-made cruise clothing – collapsed under a burden of shapes, colors and styles.

No doubt some of the male items were good, especially the wool jackets with knitted sleeves and thick knits. The women’s items, not so much.

Better to trust whim

Choreographer and dancer Sharon Eyal preceded the collection of designer Tovale with a dance. This was surely the dumbest introduction ever.

Tovale (Tova Chasin) didn’t need the dance. Her act is well known: radiant satin fabrics, rainbow shades of black, white and red, a tapestry of flowers, Bohemian shapes and the naive coloring of girls’ dresses.

This time there were flowing, airy dresses with ribbons of black and white cloth descending from the hems. In these moments Chasin is at her best; she’s working based on whim – like her deep-descending overalls in the back.

Unfortunately, the second part of the show was dedicated to dresses and long overalls in shades of black, gray and white. The excitement of the first half faded into memory.

Tomer Appelbaum
Gil Cohen-Magen