The fashion show of Shenkar graduates – personal stories of self-determination
This past Sunday I was invited to the fashion show of graduates of the Shenkar College of Fashion Design. When entering the foreground of Port 11 in Tel Aviv, I was automatically struck by a high and exciting energy. Soley while schmoozing in the entrance to the vicinity, I saw a mini fashion show, a pre-game if you will. The outfits worn by the attendees were tastefully casual. There were pieces of art here and there, but overall beautiful rompers and pants were worn.
The fashion show itself was a true collaboration of artwork, music, and fashion. People came from all around the world for different reasons to be there that night, but when everyone sat in their seats, clapping to the beat of OOOUUU by Young M.A., the crowd became a family. I can’t understand Hebrew well, however one word I heard repeated throughout the night was mishpacha, which means family.
Omri Cohen’s collection, UNTITLED SELF, deals with the naked identity of a man in the face of the world, as expressed in social networks. With black strips covering the models eyes, the audience looked less at the models and more at the outfits. As if normal working-man suits were cut and pasted back together, Cohen builds a deconstructed, “day on Wall Street” appearence look glamorous.
Another line which stood out to me was Shachar Koren’s “The Missing Piece.” Her pieces were beautifully simple, yet sophisticated. Something which stuck out were the shoes which the models wore. As if they were lugging black sacks on their feet, these platform shoes were chunky and had a lot of extra fabric on it. It made the outfits look a lot stronger as the models strutted down the runway.
I was a personal fan of the collection “Let Me Eat Cake” by Rotem Levitan, which emphasizes the ongoing problem of there being a lack of representation in diverse bodies in the fashion industry. Not only was it relieving to see models who were more relatable, but the way the models held themselves made the crowd sit up straighter. Strutting to “Boss Ass Bitch” by PTAF, the energy in the room lifted everyone’s spirits. Levitan’s line not only brought in beautiful pieces of clothing, but a message which said not only should everyone be represented, but be proud as well. And may I mention that some of them were sporting corset-like pieces.
What struck me the most was a sentence which was said during one of the closing speeches for the show. It went along the lines of now I do not see garments as shirts, pants, jackets, but as stories, as descriptions of who we are.
This impacted me because I feel that the Shenkar Graduates Fashion Show was a true piece of art, as if I sat while each designer presented its artwork, its narrative, to me.