The next challenge

Maya Bash is a beacon for women seeking well-designed everyday clothes with a very current feel.

Fashion problems 311 (photo credit: Liah Chesnokov)
Fashion problems 311
(photo credit: Liah Chesnokov)
If it would just get a little bit colder here in Israel, Maya Bash would be able to fulfill one of her dreams – to work with heavier fabrics.
Trapped in a hot climate, Bash is forced to design T-shirt after T-shirt, using light, breathable materials.
But if presented the opportunity, she would love to get her hands on some wool and start wielding winter coats.
Her studio/store, located in south Tel Aviv, has been a beacon to women seeking well-designed everyday clothes for the past five years. Now, driven by her desire to expand her horizons, Bash is considering taking on a new metropolis.
“I have a real desire to be in a new place with a new language, culture and information. I feel like maybe invoking that nomad spirit, existing between Gan Hahashmal and the Kreuzberg,” says Bash. “I recently found my clothes in a second-hand store, which is the sign of success of any local designer, so now I have to find a new challenge,” she says.
“I want to keep the challenge alive.”
A creator of unconventional designs, last year Bash unveiled her Kidult line, a series of garments inspired by children’s clothing. “The term ‘kidult’ is a kind of extension of the metrosexual, only it refers to a whole generation of people, of which I am a part, who own no property, play video games in their homes, aren’t married and don’t earn very much money. In response to this idea, I asked a bunch of my friends to lend me their kids’ clothes. Then I studied their designs and expanded them. It was at the end of that process that I discovered that I was pregnant,” she says.
Bash has just finished shooting and cataloguing her newest collection, which will be on sale in the coming month. Always one for a theme, Bash’s new line is based on the idea of crowdedness.
“I shot the photos in a small room upstairs in the store,” she explains. “I really wanted to get the feeling of being alone.” This collection is inspired by Bash’s recent experiences as a new mother. “Since my daughter Toma was born, I have had to split my time differently.
I don’t get to see trends. I am totally unaware of what is going on outside of my little world. I barely get to come into the store, aside from late nights when I can sneak away to sew.
During this period, I have accumulated a lot of feelings that I put into the clothes,” she says.
Now that she has documented all her pieces, Bash will spend a few days reconsidering the continuity of this collection, checking where things are missing and getting an overall picture of the aesthetic she has mastered.
As with all her creations, the garments in this line are intricate and technically sophisticated. Most of the pieces are fully round, with cuts made only for a neckline or armholes. One sweatshirt features a zipper that weaves around the entire body. There is no set opening; it is up to the owner of the piece to decide how she wants to get into it.
“I love to take a known shape or base, tear it apart and rebuild it,” she says.
Bash says that the shape and technique of clothing making are what fascinate her. She began experimenting with patterns while studying at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. Soon after graduating, she began to sell a small number of hand-sewn pieces to a select number of local stores. She was immediately picked out as a rising star of Israeli design. Her unique blend of technically challenging sewing and dreamy fabric made her a shoe-in for the local market.
The article of clothing that initially put her on the Tel Aviv fashion map was a deconstructed T-shirt, an item she stocks to this day.
A large portion of the clothes on sale in her shop is what Bash considers basics.
For one, she boasts the perfect white Tshirt, a staple every woman needs in her closet. Another best-seller is the plie pant, a slim-cut chino with raggedly finished pockets, which Bash first designed as part of her Dance collection. During the time she was working on the patterns for Dance, she was experimenting with modern and ballet classes in Jaffa.
“I was really taken with movement. The collection was all about the build of the body, the way the body moves,” she says. Instead of designing tutus and leotards, Bash focused on garments that showcased the range of the joints. Her plie pant is one of several basics drawn from that line.
The common thread between all her collections is Bash herself. “I wear these clothes,” she says. “Over the years I have realized that the pieces that work in the store are the ones that I really believe in. These clothes, for me, are a decoration of the inside.”
Maya Bash is located at 13 Barzilay Street in Tel Aviv. For more information, call (03) 560-0305.