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On the Israeli catwalk
By REBECCA BASKIN
10/16/2011
Avid fashionistas can revel in their field during the third Holon Fashion Week at the Holon Design Museum.
 
Holon is about to get a little more stylish. The city’s annual fashion week is back for its third year, this time with an international twist. Designers, models, writers and other fashion aficionados will come together in the city next week, from October 25-28. The event, hosted by The City of Holon and the Holon Design Museum, hopes to solidify the connection between Israeli and international fashion and design industries. Leading names in the world fashion industry will be at the museum, showing their works and hosting classes and seminars, as well as taking part in panel discussions with their Israeli counterparts.

The festival with be examining the influence of the digital age on fashion, design, marketing, production and sales, as well as taking a look at the tension that is created between a return to tradition and hand-work and the digital world. It will also take a look at the meeting point of the world of fashion with different cultures and disciplines in the world of design.

Events include a conference about the fashion and textile industry, an “inspiration room” – a recreation of Israeli designer Liora Targan’s studio – and a “live studio” – two fashion productions by leading stylists which will take place in the museum and be broadcast simultaneously on the conference’s website. As well, the Holon Cinematheque will be screening fashion movies during the festival, several of them award-winning and all of them being shown for the first time in Israel.

Inga Fraser is among the festival’s international guests. She is the associate curator of Fashion in Film at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. She has co-curated and coordinated major projects including Kinoscope Parlour (London, 2010) and a “color inventory” installation for Arnhem Mode Biennale. At the festival, she will be hosting a seminar on fashion in film.

“I actually trained as an art historian,” Fraser told The Jerusalem Post. “Fashion in Film was set up as a research project in 2005, looking at the role of clothing, fashion and styling in the moving image. I suppose it was felt that the role of fashion in film fell between two camps [of art history and cinema history]... so nobody took a real look until then.”

Fraser said the project began with a year of research, and held its first festival in 2006.

“In that festival, we were addressing how fashion was treated in the moving image – something of an enigma, a contradiction,” she explained. “Celebrated, but dismissed and something quite frivolous.”

The 2010 Kinoscope Parlour exhibit in London explored what Fraser described as the “most spectacular [fashion] moments in cinema history, where costume was really put forward above all other concerns.”

For the seminar she will be hosting in Israel, Fraser says that she will be drawing on all aspects of her and the project’s research.

“There will be a couple of films we had looked at originally in 2006, examining the fashion object, how it was abstracted or treated differently in film. We’ll be looking at films that use items of clothing in film as a way to produce sort of uncanny effects – like [Hans Richter’s 1928 film] Ghosts before Breakfast, which uses bowler hats as a symbol of bourgeois identity.”

“We’re also looking at costume as a special effect in cinema. [We are looking at filmmakers] who are very much working in this kind of early cinema mode but using the most up-to-date technology,” she said.

“The camera is able to isolate the materiality of clothing and make it go beyond itself to give us an experience of dress or fashion that is impossible in our vernacular experience. We see costume and fashion used as something more than they are.”

She says that the genre will hold appeal even for those with little prior knowledge of fashion or film.

“The material really speaks for itself,” she said. “You don’t really need to have knowledge of cinema history.

These films have a kind of emotional impact – they’re all about the change of colors on screen. They have universal appeal – they use texture and touch instead of relying on narrative.”

Fashion in Film has, until now, been based on western European film, but Fraser says that she hopes this will change.

“We’re beginning to open up – desperate to open up,” she said. “We want to come back to Tel Aviv and look at Israeli archives.”

Other international personalities that will be at the festival include noted designer Zac Posen, fashion writer and editor Stephanie LaCava and Mark Worth, who is one of the world’s experts on the connection between fashion and digital media, and the creator of the leading design website Stylus.

For more info on the festival visit www.dmh.org.il
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