Tuesday, September 27, 2011
For Fashion Week, a Shalom and a Salaam
On a makeshift runway in NYC, ancient Middle Eastern cultures combine into a singular, modern aesthetic. This is inSHALLOm, a project by fashion designers threeASFOUR meant to link Jewish and Arab aesthetics to demonstrate how the visual world binds these cultures to one another. Earlier today, threeASFOUR launched their Spring Summer 2012 collection as a part of New York’s Fashion Week. A big part of their new collection is the inSHALLOm project, which is a series of partnerships to bring both Arab and Jewish communities together through artistic collaboration. Both peoples are of course, intrinsically linked through shared cultural heritage in the Middle East, as both are born out of the Abrahamic faith and are cousins both linguistically and culturally.
threeASFOUR is working with local artisans and manufacturers to create a contemporary, affordable line of fashion and accessories influenced by both Middle East cultures. The goal is for the products to reflect their shared background, with elements of each culture molded into a single representation of what the two peoples have in common.
More than just a series of hybrid designs for the fashion industry, threeASFOUR hopes that this will spark a new beginning of cross-cultural exchange. A quick look at the backgrounds of the designers and you can see that threeASFOUR embraces diversity as it stems from their very origins. Adi Gil was born and raised in Israel; Gabi Asfour is of Palestinian descent born and raised in Beirut and Angela Donhauser is of Russian and German descent, born in Tajikistan and later raised in Germany. Fusion is a central tenet behind the work of threeASFOUR, and through design, they seek to create unity. More than just unity of form and function, any time you have three people in a room, as the saying goes, you get four opinions. But having designed together for over a decade, Adi, Gabi and Angela are able to reflect off the same sense of unity they seek to find in their work.
Coming up for the inSHALLOm project in November 2011 is a huge opening event at Tel Aviv’s Beit Ha’ir museum, complete with music, photography, architecture and more to, as threeASFOUR put it “promote cultural understanding through aesthetic unity.”
Yoko Ono who is going to contribute to the Beit Ha’ir Tel Aviv show, was in attendance today, along with her son, Sean Lennon (pictured above).
We’ll have more for you ahead of the Beit Ha’ir exhibit, so stay tuned!