I believe we are all truly the same. Everybody has terrible days, excellent days, falls in love, has a broken heart… so when I create something that is really honest about the way I feel and it’s not made to make someone else feel a type of way, only good stuff can come out of it.
You probably know Israel for it’s Holy spots and its pioneering technology, but what you didn’t know is that it’s slowly but surely becoming a hotspot for talented designers, such as Shahar Avnet. This young and eclectic artist creates unique pieces from couture to denim:
I realized that over the years you look at the same things in different ways, and that’s what I’m focusing now. Dig in and take one step, then look back and look at the picture.
“When I was 16, my grandmother taught me how to knit. When I started knitting I realized that you can think of something and then create it. For me, it was a really important and even unique moment. I decided I wanted to become a fashion designer even though I didn’t grow up with fashion, it wasn’t in my home, it wasn’t something that someone taught me. I just created this thought in my head and decided “this is what I’m going to do”, but then I did nothing for 9 years! Until I was 24. I kept telling people that I was going to be a fashion designer and nobody believed me. It was a weird dream. I couldn’t even draw.”
“In Israel you go to the army, and after it many people go on a big trip somewhere, so I went to India for 7 months. It was amazing, I fell in love with it. In India there are a lot of colors. I had a really good friend there, and I told her that I wanted to be a fashion designer but I didn’t know how, and she said “If you want to do it, you should do it, it doesn’t matter how. If you don’t know how to do it, figure it out, but just do it.”; so I went back to Israel and started to learn how to sew.”
“Then I started doing small things, like small dresses, not something really creative, but I got good money from it and then I stopped. I realized that this dream of mine had to be taken seriously so got into Shenkar, which is the best school in Israel and the 10th in the world for fashion design. I wasn’t sure if I was going to fit in. I did it very spontaneously. The first year in Shenkar was very hard, because I had never drawn before, I didn’t have any skills except that I kind of knew how to do clothes. It was hard, I had many difficulties with myself.“
I taught myself how to draw because if I couldn’t show people what I wanted to do, they wouldn’t know. Nowadays through drawing I can express myself. I can explaing things first of all, to myself. Thing that I hadn’t realized.
“I learned to create out of inspiration that isn’t visual. I choose a subject, for example, the sky, and then create clothes inspired by it, using different shades of blue, and design out of it. For my designs I actually chose the topic of “Relationship in fear”; I took things from my diary that I had been writting since I was 12, from a point of my life when I was afraid about a relationship. On each page where I had written something about it, I draw something, and from this I created my work.”
“I then went onto using songs as inspiration. I realized how we feel when we listen to these songs and the colors of these feelings. I noticed that I had more fun creating my designs out of myself than in a visual way. I always choose subjects that are inside of me and then I try to get them out in my sketch book. Of course at the beginning I don’t know what will be the end. I use words and colors that go together, so I can visually analyze myself through my work.”
My final project was about my relationship with the women in my life: my two grandmothers and my two sisters. Each one of them got a chapter in my book. Different words, different colors. I believe all of us women should be confident and strong.
“When university is over, in one day you go from student to fashion designer. Everyone talks to you and looks at you in a different way. You talk to yourself in a different way. Time goes by really fast but, at the same time, you have to choose what to do with it. I understood really fast what I wanted to do and now I’m in the middle of creating my own dreams, creating a full collection.”
“My collection is going to be “wearable”, which is a challenge because I like being avant-garde, but at the end of the day when you create clothes you need to understand that they’re going on be on the body. Fashion and clothes should be a celebration, not something you suffer.”
People are already taking my creations for music videos. For me, it’s a lot of fun because when you design something, it’s like you live the outfit before it exists.
Tel Aviv is absolutely the best place in Israel for fashion.
“Fashion in Israel is definetely not like in Europe, I wish it was. Now it’s becoming more modern but it’s a bit complicated here. On the one hand, there are very creative minds who do amazing things, but on other hand, it’s a very hot country and, for example, in the summer everyone wears flip-flops. It’s just a small example of how people over here don’t really think about what they’re wearing.”
If I could choose one runway to be a part of, it would definitely be Paris Fashion Week.
I really think that the fashion world is going to go through many changes during the next few years.
In the world that we live in today, we feel very exposed. With social media, everyone is exposed to anyone, all the time. We choose what to expose.
KEEP UP WITH SHAHAR: