ISRAEL FASHION RISING

Photographer: Jens Ingvarsson
Fashion Editor: 
Wendy McNett
Hair & Make Up: Sophie Haig
Fashion Designer: 
Alon Livne
Model: Monika Jablonczky

(Interview follows photo series)

INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL WILLIAMS

ISRAEL’S FASHION FUTURE

Debuting his collection during Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week last February 2013, Israel’s premier fashion designer Alon Livné’s star began rising years before. He started working at the young age of 17, in luxury European fashion houses, eventually training at Alexander McQueen in London. Then at only 22, Livné was appointed to Roberto Cavalli’s Evening Wear and Couture department where he created intricate bespoke gowns for celebrities and international royals.  His proclivity for sculptural designs infused with elaborate handwork made him an obvious choice for Israeli “Project Runway.” However, unlike other reality-TV personalities that flat-line in achieving real industry success, Alon Livné not only won the competition but went on to win over the hearts of critics worldwide. Imagista went one-on-one with Alon Livné to get Livné’s personal take on inspiration, fashion design and, of course, some of his favorite things.

Imagista: How long have you been working as a fashion designer and how did you get into fashion design in the first place?

Alon Livné: I’ve been designing since I was in my teens and I’ve always known that I would be a designer. I started by making clothing for my friends, which inspired me to try out for “Project Runway” in Israel…and I won. Everything just happened quickly after that.

Imagista: How would you describe your approach to design?

AL: Ultimately, I’m very drawn to the concept of transformation and morphology. Alexander McQueen was an expert at that, and it greatly inspires me. I was also blessed to have the good fortune to work with his team. I love the idea of fusing something otherworldly, robotic and futuristic with something elegant and strong.

Imagista: What do you love about the design process?

AL: The fact that I can create something in physical form that started from an idea. I’m attracted to the creativity in the work and to be able to dress people in what started as just a thought, have them look beautiful and love it. That’s definitely the best part.

Imagista: What are you most proud about or most excited with your career?

AL: Designing custom dresses and meeting Beyoncé are definitely highlights of my career—her team is amazing and she is such a sweet and humble person. It was all too exciting and intimate to feel real, but the images that continuously circulate everywhere of her and the dancers in my designs are a constant reminder that it was indeed very real.

Imagista: Who or what is your greatest inspiration in fashion or outside of fashion?

AL: For my SS14 collection, I was highly inspired by many forces: a mix of music, art, books and culture. In terms of music, I was highly inspired by Grace Jones, Daft Punk and Lady Gaga. Visually and artistically, the concept of the 1980’s science-fiction magazine OMNI covers and Peter Sato’s illustrations influenced the collection. And I’ll always love Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis forever and the apocalyptic book J. G. Ballard penned The Crystal World is a seminal piece for me.

Imagista: Who in the creative world do you most identify with, or are most inspired by? What about them inspires you? 

AL: I absolutely love Bjork—her music, her style, her personality. She’s daring, eclectic, powerful and incredibly confident in her art and with herself. That’s always inspirational. She’s the type of woman I design for.

Imagista: What makes you the happiest?

AL: Quiet moments on my balcony with my cat.

Imagista: What do you like to spend your money on?

AL: Fabrics of course!

Imagista: What is your most valued possession?

AL: My cat. She’s a Main Coon named Marilnda.

Imagista: What are your three favorite places on the planet?

AL: Tel Aviv, my bed and anywhere my best friends and family are.

Imagista: If you were a bumper sticker, what would it say?

AL: Aim high or don’t shoot at all!