Sweater, sweater on the wall

Holon Fashion Week, whose theme is clothes and cities, features top-ranking designers and a 10x3 meter knitted sculpture.

Sweater, sweater on the wall (photo credit: courtesy)
Sweater, sweater on the wall
(photo credit: courtesy)
When is a sweater not a sweater? While that may sound like a modern-day take on some ancient Chinese philosophical tenet, in fact it is a pretty good clue as to what we might expect to see hanging from a building in Holon for a few days next week. The structure in question forms part of the Mediatheque Center complex, and the occasion is Holon Fashion Week 2012 (aka HoF12), which will run from October 15 to October 20.
HoF12’s subtitle, “On Clothes and Cities,” provides further insight into the nature of the program, which features a slew of top-ranking professionals from all over the world and includes a solo show by 69-year-old internationally acclaimed Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto at the Design Museum Holon. The show will focus on Yamamoto’s influence on various fields in contemporary culture and will address the relationship between fashion, architecture and modern urban challenges.
Other foreign VIPs include Croatian born, Paris-based fashion designer Damir Doma; Italian gallery owner and publisher Carla Sozzani, who foundedthe 10 Corso Como shopping and dining complex in Milan; Patricia Mears, deputy director and curator at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York; and Rafael de Cardena, a New York-based architect who specializes in designing and building unique spaces, pop-up stores and private homes.
That is, indeed, an illustrious milieu for 27-year-old Erez Solo Rimon to share, with his gargantuan knitted creation that will measure around 10x3 meters. With three layers to the work spread out, Solo Rimon’s “building sweater” would cover the entire floor of a 240 square meter residence.
“Unfortunately, my own apartment is much smaller,” he says, “so I am completing the knitting at the Mediatheque Center. There’s much more room there for me to work.”
Solo Rimon is devising a knitted creation that he intends to hang from an entire building next week.
That doesn’t sound too mainstream, even for a fashion week program.
“Yes, people do wonder what I’m getting up to,” he admits. “They don’t really understand what they are going to see when it’s finished.”
This is the largest work Solo Rimon has ever produced, and he has been knitting for quite some time. He first put talented fingers to knitting needles at 15 and soon realized that he had found his artistic vocation. “I wanted to engage in the textures and explore the design possibilities in the knitting domain,” he says. “It just felt right to me.”
That was in the midst of his adolescence, a time when youngsters tend to be highly critical of themselves and their peers, not to mention their parents. While knitting is not generally considered too manly an activity for teenagers, Solo Rimon says he didn’t let that bother him. “I knew I’d found something I really wanted to do, and I didn’t take notice of what anyone around me said. Anyway, I didn’t spend all my time at school knitting.”
He took his artistic endeavor further by studying textile design at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan.
Solo Rimon’s HoF12 creation is not only highly unusual, but it is also impossible to miss. That is an attribute any artist would be delighted to have in his or her work. But for Solo Rimon, it’s not just about getting noticed.
“People raising an eyebrow when they see my creation is fine, but I’d like them to take their thoughts and reactions a bit further than just being surprised by the size and placement of my knitted sculpture.
I’d really like them to take the next step and consider what the work might mean,” he says.
The use of the term “sculpture” is intriguing here. For most people, a sculpture is something an artist shapes into an independent form, while Solo Rimon’s knitted work will take its shape from the building it covers. “I call it a sculpture or artistic display. There will be three layers to the work, and there will be silhouettes to it, so there will be some kind of shape to it, independent of the building.”
According to the artist, the oversized work also fits in well with the HoF12 theme. “The concept of Fashion Week suits the process I am undergoing myself as an artist, asking questions about what a body means, what fashion is and what a garment is, and what all that means in the context of a human being,” he explains Even just a few days before the start of HoF12, Solo Rimon says he isn’t quite sure how his creation will eventually evolve. “You can plan things as much as you want, but in the end you want to be a bit surprised by what comes out.”
No doubt, the public will sense that, too.
HoF12 also features a two-day conference on the topic of “On Clothes and Cities,” and there will be a screening of the film Versailles ’73: An American Revolution, a documentary about a professional clash between five iconic French designers – including Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent – and five of their American counterparts, such as Oscar de la Renta and Stephen Burrows.
The film, directed by Deborah Riley Draper, is described as “a rivalry story about fashion, race, business and catwalks.” There will also be pop-up activities in the Deign Museum yard and various collaborations between Israeli architects and fashion designers.For more information about Holon Fashion Week 2012: 073-215- 1511/25, www.dmh.org.il and www.mediatheque.org.il.