Sustainable fashion makes ‘Round Trip’ at Tel Aviv Port

Round Trip will feature Israeli designers who have created objects out of recycled materials in the spirit of advocating their maximum utilization.

Avigail Kolker fashion (photo credit: COURTESY NAMAL TEL AVIV AND COMME IL FAUT)
Avigail Kolker fashion
 As the government attempts to infuse a sense of normalcy back into its citizens through the coronavirus vaccine, the Tel Aviv Port’s Comme Il Faut fashion house aims to celebrate the revival of the world’s materials through its upcoming interactive Haloch Hazor (Round Trip) exhibit, a fashion display dedicated to sustainability and renewal. After being delayed a number of times due to the pandemic restrictions on gatherings, the exhibit will open on Sunday, February 21.
Round Trip will feature Israeli designers who have created objects out of recycled materials in the spirit of advocating their maximum utilization.
“The world today is so overwhelmed with production. We should be taking what’s already there and working with it instead,” said Laisha magazine fashion journalist and exhibit curator Naama Peer.
“We have brought people together who are dedicated to aesthetics. They took these old, worn-out items, and created a fresh aesthetic. The exhibit promotes the reuse of things, because the world is plentiful enough as is. The display highlights what can be done with things that people consider to be trash. It’s fashion with an agenda.”
Comme Il Faut is also working in collaboration with esteemed Israeli designer Vivi Blaisch, whom Peer ranked as one of the top five fashion designers in Israel. Blaisch is well-known for designing couture wedding dresses and evening gowns. His contribution to the exhibit includes a collection of embroidered and refurbished white silk dresses that he enhanced through hand-dyeing with ice.
Vivi Blaisch's renewed white silk dresses
Vivi Blaisch's renewed white silk dresses
 “Blaisch has never created a stunning line like this one,” gushed Peer. “He has never designed renewed couture before, and this is the first time he has designed a clothing line that is accessible to the public for purchase. Beforehand, his designs were for rental only.”
Certain aspects of the exhibit are interactive, calling on the audience to participate in the practice of sustainability. Lovka, an artist who creates works of art made up of objects he collects from nature and city streets, will build an entrance gate to the exhibit made up of old objects and clothing. Visitors are encouraged to bring their used belongings for Lovka to embed into his work.
"Shattering Frameworks," one of Lovka's artworks
“I really believe the randomness I find through collecting things from the streets and fields gives us an opportunity to create unique compositions that are one-time only,” explained Lovka.
“You can create the perfect puzzle out of the things that you collect, and get excited anew every time. Work that is planned out will always be limited to the framework of our imagination. I want to expose people to all the amazing raw material that we can work with, create an aesthetic with, and express ourselves through.”
Lovka's table creation
“IT’S REALLY meaningful to see something sentimental from your house that has no practical purpose anymore become part of a work of art,” commented Peer.
In another interactive aspect of the exhibit, people can watch designer Joanna Jones – whose artwork consists of remnants of plastic containers that she found at the beach – in the midst of her creative process. Participants can bring old clothing to Jones, who will sew and embroider new creations from the material on the spot.
The audience is also welcome to meet with the different creators on different days. The designer of the day will delve into the inspiration behind their projects, and like Jones, will also design new items on site. Guided outdoor tours, held in accordance with coronavirus guidelines, will be available so that viewers can learn more about the sustainability behind the featured items.
In addition to Blaisch, Lovka and Jones, the exhibit features the works of Dana Cohen, Havie brothers Dennis and Archie Ryabko, Daniel Elkayam, Galit Rondin, Gal Brush and Avigail Kolker.
Dana Cohen Fashion
Daniel Elkayam designs
"My outlook goes deeper than recycling,” said Kolker, the designer behind the AKA-Rock brand who transforms vintage clothing and patches into unique statement pieces through embroidery and handicraft.
“For me, it’s about the changing value of an item, and my responsibility to bring it back to life. My intent is that people develop new relationships with their consumerism, and create deeper relationships with what they are purchasing. Instead of thinking about how much we enjoy buying, we should be connecting with clothing that ignites emotion within us. Excessive consumerism leaves an after-taste of emptiness because all the buying does not actually satisfy us. I’m not some sort of guru, but I personally feel like something is missing from the current consumer experience.”
Avigail Kolker Fashion
While the theme of sustainability is particularly prevalent in this exhibit, Peer also stresses the importance of providing a platform for local Israeli designers.
“Creating an object that has aesthetic and ecological value is a crazy job. We need to give them the space and respect they deserve,” said Peer.
“Everyone needs to see their unique relationship with the material, and how much time and effort they invest in their creations. These artists really dedicate all their talent into what they create.”
The Round Trip exhibit will be open to the public through April.