Fashion night at the Tower of David – The Jerusalem Post

Fashion night at the Tower of David

The Tower of David lit up for the fashion show. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

On the night before the fashion seminar, scores of people crowded into the Tower of David, where the accent on fashion was emphasized by colorful patterned textiles suspended high in the air on twine strung between the turrets.

It was the start of a four-day festival last month celebrating the culture of contemporary fashion.

At well over a dozen points in the ancient complex, yarns were being knitted into fabrics, colors in every possible shade were being produced by pressing a computer key instead of being boiled and blended as in days of yore, and garments were being designed and produced.

A makeshift studio with a fashion photographer, make-up artist and stylist transformed guests into temporary models, the camera capturing them in different robes and poses that they could see on a screen next to the photographer while they were in action. It was a fashion “happening” in the most comprehensive sense of the word.

The message that kept coming across on the opening night was that whereas once a garment was purchased not only for its hanger appeal but almost as an investment with the confidence that it would last for many years to come, today the whole idea is to wear it a handful of times and discard it.

Not just fashion people, but anyone involved in any kind of manufacture and production says that if you haven’t worn it or used it for two years, throw it out.

True confession: I am a hoarder. It breaks my heart to throw anything out. My apartment looks like a junk shop with piles of papers, books, trinkets, shoes, handbags plus eight free-standing clothes racks because all four large closets are full.
Some of the clothes are 20 years old. A few that belonged to my late mother-in-law are more than 50 years old. If you wait long enough, fashion repeats itself – at least as far as the look goes, even though current textiles are synthetic or made from recycled garbage that has been specially treated. So just about all my clothes are déjà vu or vintage outfits, and quite often earn me a lot of compliments.

One of the reasons I keep them is because I am shorter than average in height, and today’s young generation all look as if they’re on basketball teams. I wear ankle length skirts, and it is almost impossible to find the right length in any store. They’re all much too long. The same goes for pants. When I asked at a panel discussion during the fashion festival at the Tower of David why fashion designers have forgotten short people, Tsafra Perlmutter, founder and owner of Co Co fashion collective and an online fashion expert and social entrepreneur literally yelled at me for daring to ask the question.

She said that she always had to buy two pairs of shoes at a time, because one of her feet is larger than the other.
She has nothing to do with the spare shoes, but it would never occur to her to ask if anyone else could use them. Fashion is created according to demand, she said, and there are many more tall people than short people. A woman in the audience rushed to my defense saying that she was certain that there were more short people in the world than the number who buy two pairs of different sized shoes at a time. The moral of my story is: Don’t follow fashion fads. Wear what you like and what most flatters you, no matter how long it’s been in your closet. It will make you stand out in the crowd instead of being part of the flock.