Tel Aviv Fashion Week sees anti-overhaul protest on the runway

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Designer David Weksler brought protests against the coalition’s judicial segregation overhaul to the fashion runway on Sunday at the opening of Kornit Fashion Week in Tel Aviv.

Weksler, a Brazilian designer based in Jaffa who focuses on sustainable, upcycled textiles and digitally printed fabrics, protested his models on the runway with placards denouncing the plan.

“Democracy for all,” “Clothes for traitors” (“Democracy for allBegadim lebogdim,” a play on words in Hebrew) and “Democracy or rebellion,” read cardboard signs held aloft by models as they marched down the runway.

They were dressed in Weksler’s trademark colorful streetwear, with layers of digitally printed fabrics mixed and matched for effect.

Weksler, a graduate of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and Central Saint Martins in London, has always been known for pushing societal boundaries, particularly around gender and masculinity.

His collection this year focused on recycled fashion designed with artificial intelligence, in collaboration with Kornit Digital, sponsor of the fashion event.

Fashion designer David Weksler models on the runway at Tel Aviv Kornit Fashion Week, March 19, 2023 (Courtesy of Haydon Perrior)

Weksler asks questions about the future of fashion, upcycling clothes with advanced printing technologies in order to create collections according to the fabric.

On Sunday, his models, decked out in pagan-like battle stripes and dressed in contrasting themes of colorful versus black-and-white, battled it out on the runway in a replay of recent events at weekly protests across the country.

One model, dressed as a police officer with colorful textile patches tucked into his shirt pockets, handed out mock “fines” to those sitting in the front rows.

Weksler called it a “reality show on the runway”, an opening theme for the 12th Fashion Week produced by Motti Reif.

This year’s event features 28 shows featuring leading fashion designers and newer names in the industry.

Fashion designer David Weksler’s model on the runway at Kornit Tel Aviv Fashion Week, March 19, 2023 (Courtesy of Haydon Perrior)

Tel Aviv Fashion Week, held until March 23, combines fashion shows and events that promote social awareness.

This week-long event includes talks on recycling and environmental sustainability, panels on women’s health, menopause, fertility and body transformation, sexuality and female entrepreneurship.

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets over the past two months to protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government’s sweeping plan to reform the judiciary and curtail the power of the court system.

Opponents argue that it will weaken Israel’s democratic character, remove a key element of its checks and balances and leave minorities unprotected. Supporters call the reform much-needed for reunification in an activist court.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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