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Tel Avivians brave sirens for clothes in NYT story about ‘Fashion during wartime’

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Screen shot from the New York Times.

Screen shot from the New York Times.

“In almost every country that is traditionally considered a danger zone, there is fashion,” Vanessa Friedman, fashion director at the New York Times tells us in “Fashion during wartime,” published today. She then likens Tel Aviv’s Tuesday night graduate student show at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design to catwalks in Kiev, Zambia and even Afghanistan.

A closer example of a fashion show in a “danger zone” would have been Gaza’s first children’s fashion walk earlier this year. The Gaza show was a sad, underfunded affair with no Palestinian brands and two Israeli lines featured. The full depression of the blockade was on display, reminding spectators that Gaza doesn’t produce quality clothes anymore. Gaza can barely feed itself.

Vanessa Friedman

Vanessa Friedman

By comparison, the Tel Aviv show was in a grand auditorium. Leading Israeli actress Keren Mor attended. And unlike Afghanistan and Gaza, the danger zone Friedman dedicates valuable New York Times real estate to was not one of raining bombs, or entire wedding parties annihilated, or beach-going youths cruelly killed.

Rather, in Tel Aviv, the war was experienced via text messages. Friedman quotes Leah Perez, the curator of the fashion show:

“[A]ll of a sudden everyone started getting text messages on their mobile phones that the sirens were going off, and the rockets were coming to Tel Aviv. We were in a big exhibition space with no bomb shelter. So I had to decide if we should evacuate or not.”

They didn’t evacuate. The fashion show continued. Regrettably the “champagne after-party had been canceled” — which Friedman says is an example that “defiance in the name of aesthetics only goes so far” for brave Tel Aviv.

P.S. The article plugs Maskit, deemed Israel’s first or only luxury clothing line now rebranded under new ownership. Ruth Dayan, the wife of Moshe Dayan, founded the line, which uses motifs of Palestinian and Lebanese tadris. Friedman mentions the “traditional” sources of inspiration, but calls the ripping off of the designs “elevating the cultural heritage of the region.” Perhaps cultural appropriation is even more endemic to the upscale fashion industry, than fashion shows in danger zones.

 

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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16 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther on July 17, 2014, 12:35 pm

    This ain’t no party……

  2. Chu
    Chu on July 17, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Those plucky fashionistas stayed for the entire show, what perseverance in the face of danger… Funny how she ties war and fashion, with danger. A sales pitch like that will certainly get the diaspora shoppers hungry for new racy dresses.

    Cultural appropriation – I like this concept. Should be ‘Arab’ cultural appropriation.

  3. annie
    annie on July 17, 2014, 1:24 pm

    from the gaza fashion show link:

    Gaza’s clothing industry was once a flourished business that exported tons of ready-to-wear jeans, dresses and gowns to the world.

    i didn’t know that. when i was in gaza a palestinian woman told me it’s really hard to get decent thread there anymore (embroidery and otherwise). it’s israel’s way of making their product unsellable. and the fabric available to them is very limited.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on July 17, 2014, 7:50 pm

      Destroying orchards, stealing trees, preventing Palestinian fishermen from earning a living, blockading them so that they are unable to send out, or bring in, goods for their livelihood, they have made sure their sadistic occupation will result in Palestinians suffering, struggling to make a living, be without basic needs, and more or less perish. As someone said here, the holocaust took 5 years, the brutal occupation for decades.
      Getting rid of the Galilee of Arabs, going on right now in Gaza.

  4. MahaneYehude1
    MahaneYehude1 on July 17, 2014, 1:25 pm

    @Allison:

    Thanks for the article. I very glad that although more than 1,000 missile attacks (only 100 today after the “cease fire”), life in Israel continues in all fields.

    BTW, Allison, the designer of the clothes in the photo is Rowan Shaaban, a Palestinian from the Palestinian town Tur’an, North Israel.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 17, 2014, 1:59 pm

      Hilarious how Mahane thinks Israelis are so brave and resilient – what with having to endure the huge sacrifice of missing world cup matches and fashion shows due to sirens. Shows how he, and Israelis in general, haven’t’ got a clue.

      Put Israel under siege for years and bomb it to bits every other year, and see how brave and defiant Israelis would be. Going by how quickly their plucky IDF boys ran away from Lebanon, and how they are pissing their pants at the thought of a ground invasion in Gaza, I have a funny feeling Israeli society would fall apart.

      • MahaneYehude1
        MahaneYehude1 on July 17, 2014, 4:13 pm

        @Maximus:

        Going by how quickly their plucky IDF boys ran away from Lebanon, and how they are pissing their pants at the thought of a ground invasion in Gaza, I have a funny feeling Israeli society would fall apart.

        I don’t understand why are you wasting your time here if you have “funny feeling” that Israeli society would fall apart.

        BTW, several minutes ago, IDF soldiers started the ground battle. Most of the soldiers pissed their pants.

        http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/israel-launches-gaza-ground-invasion-2014717192054899505.html

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 17, 2014, 5:15 pm

        A ‘ground battle’? LOL! Who are they fighting against in their big tanks? Demolishing tunnels and firing missiles at hospitals is a ‘battle’ for the IDF these days?

        I hope your brave boys don’t have to raid the local shops for food, as they did in Lebanon, since thanks to the sadistic Israeli siege, shops in Gaza aren’t all that well stocked.

        Meanwhile, those stoic Israelis endure the great privation of having to cancel a champagne reception. Never has a population endured so much with so little self-pity.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on July 17, 2014, 7:34 pm

        Only someone who lacks the knowledge of actual combat would say such a stupid thing. Even Hezbolli soldiers consider the IDF opponents worthy of respect on the battlefield. And Israel remained in S.Lebanon for many weeks after the truce was called in ’06. Your false bravado is obviously from an keyboard warriors perspective. Hezbollah “won’ the war in ’06 by by way of Israel having to kill enough civilians per every hezbollah militant killed (a figure Nasrallah refuses to release) to make the battle impossible without IDF killing huge amount of Lebanese civilians. Its the reason they call it ‘asymmetrical’ warfare. Israel might have won-but at what cost. And as for the several ground operations where Hezbollah encircled and trapped IDF and outmaneuvered and killed them? If after all the billions pumped into arming and training Hezbollah from Iran didn’t succeed in creating a force that could accomplish some battlefield success it would look even more ridiculous then your claims of cowardice. But it is true Israel learned some painful lessons in ’06. But it has lost 1000s of soldiers over its short 60+ years and cowardice is such an empty and teeny-tiny phrase the way you swing it around -if you get my drift.
        I don’t think however-Israel will make any of the mistakes it made under Olmert in ’06. E.g.: It gained nothing by showing any restraint for one thing. You can wish for it but I’m not sure wishing counts for much in war.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on July 17, 2014, 7:52 pm

        Well, they are quite brave seeing they handle unarmed civilians so ruthlessly. They use their military might to slaughter babies, and kids playing soccer. What tough guys.

    • Allison Deger
      Allison Deger on July 17, 2014, 3:25 pm

      Thanks, good to know. The Times didn’t state who the collection was from.

    • eljay
      eljay on July 17, 2014, 3:52 pm

      >> I very glad that … life in Israel continues in all fields.

      The occupation and colonization of Palestine and oppression of Palestinians is as solid as ever, eh, Potato-man? Good stuff.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on July 17, 2014, 7:41 pm

        Didn’t the English live it up in London during the blitz. And life went on in many places. That is what is so shocking about war. Its in one place and then just over the hill, there is no war. Its crazy but hard to describe. I am sure if you ask any Syrian, Iraqi, Kurd, Libyan or many asst. folks from all over Africa they will tell you the same. Your issue is that Hamas is not powerful enough to bring the whole of israeli society to its knees and make life stop. That is something that the IDF is trying to prevent while it would seem that you are very anxious for that effort to fail. No thank you.

      • eljay
        eljay on July 18, 2014, 9:43 am

        >> DaBakreee: Your issue is that Hamas is not powerful enough to bring the whole of israeli society to its knees and make life stop. That is something that the IDF is trying to prevent while it would seem that you are very anxious for that effort to fail.

        Are you suggesting that Israeli society and Israeli life is nothing – and is not capable of being anything – without the on-going occupation and colonization of Palestine and the oppression of Palestinians?

        If that’s not what you’re suggesting, please show me where, in my previous post, I expressed a desire for Hamas “to bring the whole of israeli society to its knees and make life stop”.

  5. michelle
    michelle on July 17, 2014, 11:02 pm

    .
    shouldn’t Gaza be renamed
    wouldn’t auschwitz be a likely fit
    oh nevermind
    in just a few years
    the people locked up in auschwitz
    were fought for and many were rescued
    Gaza is more like being an abused slave for life
    .
    G-d Help us
    .

    • asda
      asda on July 18, 2014, 8:45 pm

      Gaza and the West bank are the only remaining nazi camps since the world wars. Like an unprecedented and relatively immediate effect of what now appears to be a multi-generational stockholm syndrome

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