A lucky few from the fashion blogosphere touched down in Israel yesterday, to an incredibly warm welcome from Kinetis founder
Joanna Landau and her glowing right hand woman Adi Kaplan. Landau is on a mission to share a side of the country rarely reported on by contemporary media outlets which all too often get fixated on more predictable themes of politics, conflict and religion. While not denying Israel's continued presence at the epicentre of many such stories, Landau seems determined to offer a broader view focusing on the country's vibrant creative and cultural scenes.
The Carlton Hotel where we're based on our tour of Tel Aviv sits on a glorious strip of real estate overlooking the white sand beaches that straddle the coastline of the eastern Mediterranean on one side and an ever-growing skyline of high-rise towers and a smattering of quirky architectural marvels.
First stop was the Neve Tzedek flagship of high-energy designer Dorit Bar Or (above), whose label Pas Pour Toi
("Not for You", for those of you not versed in French) certainly speaks
of its exclusive cache of high-octane Israeli glamour — but it belies
some of the actress-cum-designer's cheeky sense of humour.
Dodo, as she's affectionately known in high society circles,
found unlikely inspiration for the elaborate gold embroidery and coin
embellishments in her black kaftan range from someone who she seems to have
very little in common with. In what appears to be some kind of thinly
veiled statement that can probably only be gleaned by the truly
initiated, part of her collection was based on the outfits worn by Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef (bottom shot, obviously), a spiritual leader of the Shas
political party whose Mizrahi heritage gives him a rather decadent air
for a conservative religious figure.
Tune in again this week for more from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Later, Robb Young