In fashion again

Mula Eshet; feminism; Red Sea Jazz Festival.

Jazz festival 311 (photo credit: Alaev Singel)
Jazz festival 311
(photo credit: Alaev Singel)

■ FROM THE 1960s to the beginning of the 1990s, Mula Eshet, 77, was one of the country’s leading fashion photographers. When the local fashion industry sank temporarily into the doldrums, he turned his hand to prints and posters, which sell very well on the US market. Now that Israeli fashion has begun to come back into its own, Eshet is holding a retrospective exhibition of some of his best fashion photos from the 1960s through the 1970s and ’80s.

The exhibition, which opens tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Mishkan Gallery, Holon, will be on view Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Speakers at the opening will include fashion historian Ayala Raz, Nissim Mizrahi – the founder of the now-defunct but once highly successful fashion house Rosh Indiani – and Guy Raz, the curator of the exhibition, which will remain on view until March 17.

The invitation to the exhibition features a 1976 photograph of a barefoot model in a turquoise caftan against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock. The fabric of the caftan has a delicate gold pattern flowing through it, and both the golden dome of the Mosque of Omar and the blue and gold tiles that are such an outstanding example of Middle East architectural adornment complement these colors perfectly. Eshet always had an impish streak in him, as demonstrated by his placing a fashion model in such a holy place. The impishness has not entirely disappeared: The title of the exhibition is “Mula Eshet without Photoshop.”

■ MEN WILL definitely be in the minority on Monday, January 23, when the leading figures in the country’s feminist movement, along with women who have achieved professional success, will discuss equality and the elimination of women from the public domain. Speaking from both an academic and a personal standpoint will be, among others, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev President Prof. Rivka Carmi, Israel Academy of Sciences President Prof. Ruth Arnon, Israel Women’s Network founder Prof. Alice Shalvi and retired Supreme Court justice Dalia Dorner, who is president of the Israel Press Council. The discussion begins at 10 a.m. in the BGU Senate building.

■ ESRA, THE English Speaking Residents Association, has spread its wings to many parts of the country, though strangely enough, it never caught on in Jerusalem, despite the large number of native English-speakers in the capital and the huge volume of English-language events. However, if ESRA can’t impact Jerusalem, Jerusalem can certainly impact ESRA.

On Thursday, February 9, Dr. Richard Hardiman of the capital’s Hebrew University, who has spent 22 years in China, will examine the Asian country’s rapid economic development from the perspective of the environment, considering China’s impact upon climate change, air and water pollution, and forest resources. In this context, he will raise questions about China’s political motives both nationally and internationally. His address to ESRA in Modi’in – at the reception room in the third Dimri Building, 39 Yigael Yadin Street – will also touch on religion, education, minorities and China’s oppressive and repressive sovereignty over Tibet.

■ FOLLOWING THE success of their musical comedy Modern (Jewish) Family in Modi’in, Pnina Fredman-Schechter and Ninoska Ravid are taking it further afield to Beit Shemesh and Ra’anana. The Beit Shemesh performance is scheduled for Thursday, February 2, and the Ra’anana performance for Monday, February 6. The show is in English and is solely for female audiences. Almost every mother watching the production will likely recognize her teenage daughter, and vice versa.

■ OVER THE past week, all roads led to Eilat for the annual Red Sea Jazz Festival. In March, Eilat will host a different genre of musicians at the Seventh International Red Sea Chamber Music Festival, where artists such as Pieter Wispelwey, Maxim Vengerov, Julian Rachlin, Franz Helmerson, Shlomo Mintz and Ida Haendel, as well as many other famous musicians, orchestras and ensembles, will participate in concerts and master classes. Among the musicians from abroad will be several Japanese artists who are coming to Israel as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened the ministerial team on the development of Eilat. Participants discussed projects that included upgrading and widening the Arava highway, constructing a railway to Eilat and building the Ramon airfield at Timna. Also discussed was the possibility of increasing the number of hotel rooms in the city and establishing additional tourism enterprises. During 2011, well over 60,000 tourists visited Eilat. Some of them have never set foot in any other part of the country. Over the coming year, the Tourism Ministry will invest more than $1 million to promote the city as a destination not only for sun, but also for culture and for international sports competitions.