Artists show Jerusalem’s role in fashion and sustainability

OVERALL, which runs through July 20, aims to provoke fresh insights as to the ways our current “fashion ecosystem” operates.

July 19, 2019 17:22
3 minute read.
Jerusalem designer fashion fair

Jerusalem designer fashion fair 465 for gallery AP 7. (photo credit: Associated Press)

When the sun sets and the Old City goes dark, the Tower of David comes to life this week with fashion artists presenting layered textiles, 3D printed shoes, leather accessories and a whole world of artistic inspiration.

Fashion designers and artists displayed pieces emulating Jerusalem’s history, culture and artistry at the debut of the OVERALL festival last week.  

OVERALL, which runs through July 20, aims to provoke fresh insights as to the ways our current “fashion ecosystem” operates.

“Wanderings.” One of the events of the week-long festival, brought artists together on July 17 to share how the fashion world has evolved, and how Jerusalem fits into that world.

According to the tower’s director and chief curator Eilat Lieber, the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage has been trying to enhance the image of Jerusalem’s artistic community. 

“Everything about Jerusalem intersects between old and new,” Lieber said. “Hopefully deeper layers of this city’s cultural and artistic parts will come to life in this event.”

Lieber mentioned at a press conference before the event that when one thinks of Jerusalem, they typically don’t think of fashion. She believes that this event will help people understand that there is creativity and inspiration all throughout Jerusalem for young artists. 

The show itself is called “collective” — the collective story of the people and the various communities within this city. 

“This city preserves colors, shapes and vibrance,” Lieber said. “We wanted to bring life to history and see how it can have an exciting impact on the Jerusalem’s overall image.”

Artists and designers display there unique work which unites the past and present Jerusalem in every nook and cranny of the Tower of David.  

“The Tower of David is the best place to do it because it presents a stage for the Old City and the new,” Lieber said. “We can open all of this beauty to people from all over the world.”

 In one corner of the ancient temple’s courtyard a designer displays 3D printed shoes. In another, an artist presents handmade leather and wood bags inspired by signs in the different quarters of the Old City.

The art acts as a time capsule, sharing a sacred history through modern techniques.

OVERALL Artistic Director Shelly Satat-Kombor emphasizes the need for fashion in Jerusalem because the city hosts a wide variety of communities.

“People find more inspiration because of multiculturalism in a historical and complicated city,” she said. “I think if we mixed cultures it could help us design the future of fashion here. This place can give us new experiences.”

OVERALL Artistic Director Shachar Atwan said the whole idea of the event was not only to explore fashion in Jerusalem, but also to understand the roles fashion designers and consumers play in our society and ecosystem. 

One of the main issues affecting the fashion industry’s negative footprint on our ecosystem is consumerism, it was explained at last week’s press conference. Only one percent of consumed items are recycled every year. In addition,  fabric choices with chemicals and dyes are not environmentally friendly.

Shay Herchovici of the company “Sono-finishing” said there is a need to produce better, more sustainable solutions to users.

“There are so many types of materials contaminated with chemicals even after hundreds and hundreds of cycles in the wash,” Herchovici said. “We’re looking to make clothes more safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly.”

Another aspect of events was a look at digital thread dyeing versus physical color matching, which presents ecological concerns with the chemicals used in the dye. 

OVERALL gives audiences a fresh take on fashion sustainability, as well as how Jersulaem holds an important place in the fashion industry. The historical backdrop of the Tower of David mixed with new methods of expression unites the past and the present and highlights the importance of the city’s diversity and authenticity.

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