Last updated August 5th 2014
When I fist came across these photos from Dana Harel’s Collection on my Facebook feed I was convinced I am seeing a resort collection from one of the top designers or some kind of a vogue update about the new couture collections, but soon enough I found out it wasn’t an update from so far from home, this was the new collection of Israeli bridal and evening wear designer Dana Harel. After a caught my breath back again I decided to get in tough with Dana and find out more about this beautiful, unique and refreshing collection.
RS: As I understand this is your first collection, please tell me all about your background as a fashion designer?
DH: This is actually my second collection. My brand exists for 3 years, but during these years I gave birth to my two sons so I only created two spring/summer collections up to now. I studied at Shenkar college of design, then I worked for one year at “Lilamist” (a Telavivian brand for evening and bridal gowns). I was the designer’s personal assistant and was responsible for most of the hand-made ornaments and crafts at the studio. After finishing working there I started working on my own collection and
created my personal brand. My very close relationship with fashion came from my father’s parents who owned a very big clothing factory in Germany and through all my childhood I used to visit them and saw all the sewing machines, the fabrics, the designers working in the studio. (it was before everything moved to china) So this field is familiar to me from day one.
RS: This collection is truly unique and very high end, tell me what was on your mind when you designed it?
DH: In my currant collection I wanted to lighten up the concept of eveningwear. I used classic silhouettes from the 30s and 50s and used unique fabrics to give them a twist. I created light jackets using industrial nets, bridal gown using neoprene (fabric used for scuba diving) and big Swarovski stones. I was influenced by ballet costumes and used many kinds of tulle fabrics and power nets. The industrial fabrics took me to metal look-like fabrics such as Lame which I used to create garments that look as if they were made of metal. I have many more designs that I didn’t shoot for my look book, and of course I design and fit my gowns personally to my clients’ measurements and style.
RS: The look book is breath taking, tell me about the team you worked with and about the concept behind it.
DH: I had the best team a designer can ask for, people who immediately understood the feel I wanted to give in my collection and what will compliment it the most. First of all I had the honour to work with Miki Buganim, who is a dear friend and number one hair and makeup artist in Israel. Miki is an expert in shooting high-fashion catalogs and he knows everyone in the industry so I was very lucky to plan with him the whole photo shoot. He told me who he thinks should work on this and what kind of concept it should have. The photographer chosen was Dvir Kahlon, who was very professional and kind, he gave me the idea of shooting a male dancer
(Gera Verbun) along with the gorgeous model- Natalie Eidelman. Assaf Daya did the art, and he did a great job with the gentle yet industrial furniture. The retouch artist (who is really an artist) was Keren Saad, who brought every picture to its maximum, and last I had the pleasure to work with a very talented graphic designer called Tal Kleinbort who “packed” this
whole thing into an amazing catalog.
RS: Israel has so many evening and bridal wear designers, what do you think makes you different?
DH: Israel has indeed many talented evening and bridal wear designers and it is great that every bride-to-be has such a range of styles and designs to choose from. I think my style is quite modern, and I try to think “out of the box” when it comes to bridal wear (because the box is really full! my clients usually relate to the clean lines in my collections, and to the fact that the whole look I want to give them, even when wearing the fanciest dress, looks quite effortless.
RS: what’s the plan for your brand? How do you see yourself evolve in the fashion industry?
DH: My plans for the future are to continue working with my amazing staff and keep making my clients happy. In the far future (when my children will grow up a bit) I plan on moving my studio to Tel Aviv (Currently I work in my house in Ramat Hasharon) and would love to participate in the future fashion weeks around the globe.
RS: who are your favourite designers at the moment and why?
DH: There are so many great designers that I adore. In Israel I love Lee Grebenau for her extra elegant and dreamy gowns, and Lihi Hod for her gentle vintage- yet very chic bridal dresses. Outside of Israel right now I love Giambattista Valli for the amazing collection he presented in the couture fashion week. Raf Simons, who changed the way we think of fashion in the past few year, in my opinion. The Olsen Sister for “The Row”, Marco Zanini for “Rochas”, Stella Maccartney, Alber Elbaz… I absolutely love fashion and Im addicted to watching fashion shows. When I have spare time I watch endless number of them.
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