THE STATUS symbol for swimwear in Israel has long been Gottex, and although there are many other swimwear companies, this was the brand name with which the world identified Israeli swimsuits. So much so that American celebrities coming to Israel made a beeline for the company's flagship store in Yad Eliahu, mouthing the slogan "Gotta Get a Gottex." A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. The company went out of the hands of its creator Lea Gottlieb and was taken over by the Africa Israel Group. Moreover, the Gottex chief rival Gideon Oberson became the new Gottex designer. Now the company has gone a step further, realizing that many of its clients do not do justice to its product because their figures are not compatible with the bathing suits they buy. In an attempt to get women to buy swimsuits more suitable to their shapes, Gottex has brought in two leading stylists, Liat Ashuri and Gil Zohar, who will be at the flagship store for four consecutive days from midday onward, beginning Monday, June 8, to advise customers on what is most flattering for them and least detrimental to the design. Other brands in the group include Gottex Silver, Pilpel Free and Turquoise. Ashuri will be there for the first two days and Zohar for the latter two days.
HEADS TURNED quite frequently over the Shavuot-Shabbat long weekend in the Prima Kings Hotel Jerusalem. The source of the curiosity was Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who was staying there with his wife and who usually stays there when he's in Jerusalem, which is quite often. A sizable number of the hotel guests were from Haifa and what they could not understand was why it was that the affable chief rabbi of Tel Aviv chose to be in Jerusalem on such an important festival when he should have been tending to his own flock. Perhaps it's because old habits die hard. When he was chief rabbi of Israel, Lau spent nearly every major Jewish holiday in Jerusalem and generally attended the Jerusalem Great Synagogue, with occasional appearances at Yeshurun. The other reason is his enormous popularity in the capital, where he is frequently invited to give a sermon or a lecture. He was on the Jerusalem lecture circuit for Shavuot. Several of the Haifa guests who stayed at the Prima Kings admitted to being envious of Jerusalemites who lived nearby because they had so many speaker options not just in the radius of a 20-minute walk but along King George Avenue itself.
THERE'S NOTHING worse for an entertainer than looking out from the stage and seeing lots of empty seats. That's what Gabi Berlin half anticipated last week when he came from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to lead a night of community singing at the Alrov Mamilla Mall. "Every time I sing in Jerusalem, something happens," he told his audience. Last time it was Paul McCartney. This time it's the soccer championship final in Rome and White Night in Tel Aviv - and yet there are people from Tel Aviv here, and there's a nice crowd that came to listen to me." At that point there were still a few vacant places in the mall's amphitheater. Within 15 minutes of Berlin's launching into song, people were literally sitting on top of each other and also filled the staircase. Others stood clustered in the promenade outside, while still others filled the coffee shop directly opposite. Berlin sang for more than two hours without pause, and the crowd happily sang with him.
APROPOS THE Alrov Mall, Tel Aviv real estate developer Alfred Akirov, who built it, has just completed the mall's boutique hotel, which is scheduled to open this month for a running-in period. Although Akirov has many real estate projects to his credit in Israel and abroad, he has said on more than one occasion that the Alrov Mall is the jewel in the crown - possibly because it's the attractive bridge between the Old City and the new.
APPEARING AT the Israel Museum International Council's gala dinner at the Rockefeller Museum, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who attended with his wife Beverly, described the Rockefeller Museum as "one of the biggest assets hidden under the radar of Jerusalem." He also noted that members of the council are not only philanthropists but are involved - "and that's important for the museum and for the city of Jerusalem as a whole."