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Mode Israel says 'shalom' to Downtown L.A. Fashion Week

October 15, 2009 |  5:41 pm

DSC_7480 Israel might not be the most well-known arbiter of fashion, but Israelis Alber Elbaz, Elie Tahari and Yigal Azrouel have become respected industry names. Elbaz, Lanvin's artistic director, works from Paris with Tahari and Azrouel, who are both based in New York.

Wednesday night, the Israeli Consulate presented Mode Israel at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary, sponsoring the local debut of seven native designers plus jewelers as part of Downtown L.A. Fashion Week .

Mode Israel designers collectively borrowed from the 1980s playbook -- harem pants, leggings and mock turtlenecks and jumpers, while shunning any color in favor of that decade's preference for monochromatic hues of black, gray and white.

The show kicked off with Kedem Sasson’s collection of oversize coats and long dresses meant to double as plus-size fashions. 

Bracha Bar-On, Bet Ka, Yosef Peretz and Alembika showed mainly on-trend layering separates such as blazers and cardigans worn over sheer dresses and leggings.

The result was perhaps more suitable to a trade show than a runway (a few designers are also participating in this weekend’s L.A. Fashion Market).

Shai Shalom was the only designer to incorporate menswear in his presentation, though the body-conscious shirts and slim-cut shorts appeared to veer close to Bruno territory, which subtracted from the appeal.

The aptly named Sugar Daddy presented graphic tanks emblazoned with peace signs or revealingly sheer tanks on female models that drew resounding applause from males in the front row. 

-- Max Padilla

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Photo: A look from Alembika. Photo credit: Peter Halmagyi

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