Grapevine: Maskit at Mamilla

Jerusalem’s Mamilla Hotel is going in a slightly different direction and is waxing nostalgic in the field of fashion.

Mamilla hotel (photo credit: WWW.MAMILLAHOTEL.COM)
Mamilla hotel
(photo credit: WWW.MAMILLAHOTEL.COM)
HOTELS THROUGHOUT Israel are seeking to attract domestic weekend tourism by having cultural attractions in addition to any special entertainment they may be offering. Those that want to attract a religious clientele bring in a distinguished rabbinical scholar to discuss religious issues, while others bring in academics or politicians or both.
Jerusalem’s Mamilla Hotel is going in a slightly different direction and is waxing nostalgic in the field of fashion. Maskit was once Israel’s premier fashion brand. It was launched by Ruth Dayan in 1954 to encourage North African artists and artisans to preserve their traditions and to establish cottage industries that would supply Maskit with items that tourists would consider exotic. The crafts included rich embroideries that inspired Dayan to have Maskit branch out into fashion. Israel’s most important fashion designer at the time was the late Fini Leitersdorf, who among other creations designed Maskit’s signature desert coat, which became a global hit. In addition, the Israel Bonds organization used to run gala fashion shows as fund-raisers in the US, and these shows always featured Maskit creations designed primarily by Leitersdorf and Jerry Melitz.
In its heyday, Maskit had 10 stores in Israel and one in New York.
The Jerusalem store, housed in a historic downtown building, had a large courtyard in the back, suitable for receptions and fashion shows, and was frequently used for one or the other or both.
More than 20 years after the closure of Maskit, designer and Shenkar graduate Sharon Tal, who had returned to Israel after three years of working in London for designer Alexander McQueen, decided to revive Maskit. She contacted Dayan to discuss the idea with her, and thus began a wonderful collaboration.
Both Dayan and Tal will be at the Mamilla Hotel on the weekend of November 6 to 8 to talk about fashion in general and Maskit in particular. Other fashion icons in attendance will include Yuval Caspin, famous for his theater costumes, as well as theatrically inspired couture, who will talk about what not to wear; and stylist Sandra Ringler, who is also a fashion consultant, who will talk about what to wear successfully.
An extra bonus will be an exhibit of a vintage collection from the original Maskit, with perhaps a couple of Tal’s creations thrown in for good measure, as well as tickets to the Israel Museum’s exhibition “Dress Codes: Revealing the Jewish Wardrobe,” which introduces viewers to a spectacular range of 19th- and 20thcentury Jewish garments from around the world. The weekend incentive also includes guided tours, wine tasting, musical entertainment and more.
THE STAR attraction at the annual fund-raiser for the Rape Crisis Center on Thursday, November 6, will be world-acclaimed singer Yasmin Levy, who will perform free of charge in a Spanish and Ladino program that will also include flamenco dancer Sharon Sagi. The emcee will be actress, model and dancer Nataly Attiya.
The event will be held in the Henry Crown Auditorium of the Jerusalem Theater, and all proceeds will go towards the work of Jerusalem’s Rape Crisis Center. The key objective of the event, which will be attended by several MKs, is to raise public awareness with regard to the traumatic, long-term effects of sexual assault and violence and thereby enable the Rape Crisis Center to continue with its vital work.
Tickets to the performance range from NIS 200 to NIS 500 and can be reserved by calling 052-646-777 or via email at jrcc@ netvision.net.il.
THE VENUE will be the same, but music of a somewhat different genre and for a different cause will delight lovers of cantorial, classic and Broadway melodies when cantors Benzion Miller and Simon Cohen, along with Gabi Schachat and violin prodigy Gabriel Chouraki, take to the stage on Thursday, November 27, for the annual Emunah concert, accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra conducted by Elli Jaffe.
Mindful of what residents of Israel’s southern communities have endured this year, proceeds will be channeled towards posttrauma therapy provided by Emunah counselors in southern areas.


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