Israel's most stylish prepare for revived Tel Aviv Fashion Week

By Jan Shure, October 31, 2011
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Natalie Portman in a dress designed by Elbaz

Natalie Portman in a dress designed by Elbaz

Israel will host a Tel Aviv Fashion Week later this month for the first time in more than 25 years.

The Tel Aviv Fashion Week, which is being held from November 21 to 23 at Hatachanah – the renovated old railway station in hip south Tel Aviv – will feature both established and up-and-coming Israeli designers.

Leading Italian designer Roberto Cavalli will attend a Gala event and show his collection, and according to the organisers there will be up to six fashion shows on each day. he 18 participating designers include Gottex, Mira Zwillinger, Sasson Kedem, Maya Negri, Galit Levi and Dorin Frankfurt.

The revived fashion week has been mooted for almost a year, but the JC understands that the organisers have had difficulty finding sponsorship for the event. Visitors clicking "Sponsors" on their website will find a blank page.

According to their website, there will be "600 guests" attending every show, making a "10,000 total". But the reality is unlikely to match the hype, with a limited number of international buyers and press expected to attend. The difficulties for the fashion press will be fitting another "fashion week" into a busy autumn schedule, while buyers will normally have completed their buying for the spring/summer season by the end of October.

The original Tel Aviv Fashion Week was launched in the late 1960s, promoting Israel's then fledgling fashion industry primarily focusing on leather and swimwear, in both of which Israel was a world leader. Held in the Tel Aviv Hilton, the "week" attracted buyers and press from across the globe.

Israel is no slouch in the fashion stakes with a thriving home-grown industry that includes names like Dorin Frankfurt, Sigal Dekel and Mira Zwillinger, stocked by Browns Bride in London and designer of the wedding gown worn by former S-Club 7 singer Rachel Stevens. There is also New York-based Elie Tahari and Yigal Azrouel and London-based Avsh Alom Gur.

But the biggest fashion name to have emerged from the country is Alber Elbaz. A graduate of Tel Aviv's Schenkar College, he is creative director at Lanvin where he has transformed the venerable but almost moribund house into one of the most vibrant and desired brands on the planet.

Last updated: 4:36pm, October 31 2011