Oriental StyleEthnic StyleInternational StyleTechnological-Personal Style

  • Issue: December 2006
  • Designer: Ohad Shemer
  • Stamp Size: 30.8 mm x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 656 (1 phosphor bar) 657 (2 phosphor bars)
    658 (no phosphor bar) 659 (no phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

This series of stamps illuminates the changes that took place in Israeli fashion from the modern Jewish return to the Land of Israel to the present.

1882-1948: The Oriental Style

During the period of Jewish settlement in the new villages in the late nineteenth century, an oriental influence in fashion arrived from Europe, reflected pronouncedly in the designs of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (1906-1929). In the 1920s, Orientalism imbued the choreographic style and stage costumes created by dancers Baruch Agadati and Rina Nikova, among others. By the mid-1940s, the trend toward seeking roots in the ancient East widened out to the Canaanite past.

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1948-1973: The Ethnic Style

Upon the establishment of the State of Israel, a sense of identification with ancient Jewish roots became part of the Israeli cultural discourse. This trend was supported by a series of national symbols adapted from the shared past of the Jewish people. New immigrants established and entrenched the fashion industry in Israel. Garment and textile plants, built mainly in Tel Aviv, attained a high level of professionalism and flourished.
Efforts to design Western fashion with an Eastern orientation, which in the 1930s were naive and superficial, became more sophisticated during the 1950s, 60's and 70's, imbuing the fashion industry in Israel with a distinctive touch and accruing it with an international reputation for distinctive and qualitative fashion. The Maskit fashion firm, with its blend of East and West, played a prominent role in the 1960s. Three export branches stood out at that time: knits, leatherwear and swimsuits, with the Gottex and Begged-Or firms among the leaders.

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1973-1990: The International Style

The ethnic style, which typified Israeli fashion heretofore, was overtaken by the Western international style during this period, with most fashion firms relinquishing the distinctive Israeli style. Competition by fashion items manufactured in the developing countries weakened Israeli export fashion and resulted in the disappearance of some of the firms. Nevertheless, domestic demand rose, and young designers responded by opening small independent houses offering distinctive personal styles.

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1990-2006: The Technological-Personal Style

The 1990s were characterized by a breakdown of traditional conceptional modes and the rise of a minimalist trend that emphasized clean shapes and lines. At the same time, the personal look gained popularity, along with a strong trend toward retro, especially of the 1960s, and 70's. Israeli fashion showed a freshness of design with the entry into the local fashion market of a young generation of graduates of design schools. Opening their own studios, or joining existing firms, these young designers aimed fora distinctive design style in the global complex. The period held out the promise of a renewed flowering of Israeli fashion domestically and abroad by implementing advanced production methods and an investment in original design.

Ayala Raz
Senior Lecturer
Shenkar College of Engineering and Design

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Israeli Fashion