** This article is dedicated to the memory of Ari Fuld Z”l, the Lion of Zion, who best represented the Israel Defense Forces, and whose work on behalf of soldiers will never be forgotten.
New York Fashion Week was very hard for me to cover this year given the fact that most of the shows overlapped with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, plus I worked and covered the New York State Primary elections.
There was one invitation I received that I was not going to say no to. Given the horrible news about the murder of Ari Fuld days later, this event has more meaning as I went to press.
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) supporters from the Tri-State area, along with Maskit Fashion House’s head designer, Sharon Tal of Israel, and Israeli soldiers, gathered for a fashion event September 13 at Metropolitan West in New York to support well-being and educational programs for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The Fashion for Philanthropy event, hosted by the FIDF Tri-State Region, brought together FIDF friends and supporters, as well as models who served in the IDF and other soldiers, and will launch FIDF’s Philanthropic Women Campaign. The event featured clothing by Tal, head designer of Maskit, the luxury Israeli fashion house, and guests will learn about Israeli fashion and shop for designer Israeli clothing. Tal, an internationally known designer, was recently nominated for Designer of the Year in the 2018 Fashion Awards by At Magazine. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated FIDF’s programs in support of the soldiers.
Among the models was Sgt. Lea, a former L’Oreal model from Austria who served as a Lone Soldier — one who immigrates to Israel without any immediate family in order to serve in the IDF — in a special combat operations Artillery Corps unit.
Over forty pieces, ranging from outerwear, evening gowns and accessories were on display and later modeled, many sold within minutes of presentation.
Maskit is a luxury fashion house with a unique origin. Conceived in 1954 by Ruth Dayan, Maskit made contemporary luxury clothing utilizing traditional embroidery techniques from Hungarian, Yemenite, Bulgarian, Bedouin, Palestinian, Druze, Lebanese and Jewish artisans.
The resulting works of art created more than jobs for immigrants; a brand was born. Maskit wasn’t just any brand, though: its designs were so luxurious and re ned that they were treasured by leading ladies (Audrey Hepburn was just one star who wore its famous desert coat) and their fashion-forward followers alike. Collaborations with Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Givenchy followed, as did a flagship store in New York City.
The designs were a staple of the stylish Bergdorf, Neiman Marcus, Saks – all carried their clothes and admired their vision.
Honoring such a legacy takes talent; building upon it takes guts. Fortunately, head designer Sharon Tal has both in spades. Formerly head of embroidery at Alexander McQueen, she also interned under Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. Her appreciation for tradition is matched only by her attention to detail and willingness to reinvent.
Since taking over the helm in 2014, with blessing and input from Ms. Dayan, Sharon and Maskit have launched several successful collections and shown internationally. In the process, they have managed to honor and innovate, revitalizing a brand while earning plaudits for their striking designs.
Featuring the Desert Collection
The clothes speak their own language, are instantly recognizable, and react their origins more clearly than any passport stamp.
The Mediterranean is no different, and the accent is equally distinctive, from its choice of materials to its fonts of inspiration.
The climate and history of Tel Aviv can be felt in all of Maskit’s creations, as can the 72 cultures that comprise it and allow it to ourish.
The air, the sun, the light, the waves, the port, even the surprising triad of desert and ocean and mountains living in tight quarters, all climb into the cloth as if to say, see me.
It’s desert chic: the fabrics are soft and natural; the silhouettes, full; the colors, deep and exotic.
The craftsmanship re ects an ancient sensibility with a slight mingling of the new and unexpected snuck in.
There are layers — of history and heritage — buried within the very warp and woof of the collections. If it’s an exaggeration to say that the brand has as much history as the land, it’s a slight one: Maskit boasts a story equal parts charity and charm.
Unlike many fashion designers, Sharon Tal brought humor and unique staging to her show. She recalled watching the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, realizing she was supposed to work on the bridal gown. However, she had just given birth.
She also is proud of her tour of duty with the IDF, and likes to dress fellow soldiers and veterans.
FIDF was established in 1981 by a group of Holocaust survivors as a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization with the mission of offering educational, cultural, recreational, and social programs and facilities that provide hope, purpose, and life-changing support for the soldiers who protect Israel and Jews worldwide. Today, FIDF has more than 150,000 loyal supporters, and 20 chapters throughout the United States and Panama. FIDF proudly supports IDF soldiers, families of fallen soldiers, and wounded veterans through a variety of innovative programs that reinforce the vital bond between the communities in the United States, the soldiers of the IDF, and the state of Israel. Their New York gala will be held on October 17th. For more information, please visit: www.fidf.org
Cindy Grosz can be reached at email@example.com