Monday, 9 June 2014

Punk Rock Party: Fashion Designer Shoshi Barbi's Collections

Designer Shoshi Barbi with model Tzvika Amit. "I believe that when we dress, we can take our style straight from our own fantasy world," says Barbi. "It has always been a way we can express ourselves."

Fashion designer Shoshi Barbi creates dynamic collections that manage to be both pretty and punk rock. Beloved of musicians, her clothes are hand-made and bristle with her original, graphic prints. DAM's fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott interviews the designer at her atelier in Tel Aviv

My creations always start with a magical moment ~ Shoshi Barbi

FASHION for Israeli designer Shoshi Barbi has always been a way to make her own visual statement using her unique, avant-garde style. A graduate of Shenkar College of Design, Barbi’s work is a favourite of not only Israeli musicians and actors but also international singers like Madonna.

Shoshi Barbi started her successful label eight years ago and is based in Tel Aviv. Her first major collection was called Plastic Doll ~ a mix of punk and pretty pieces. The recent J*U*S (Just.Urbane.Stars) is a more mature brand but still with the rock and roll edge. This year, she also launched a new children’s label called Plastic Jus inspired by her newborn daughter.

Looking at her collections, you can immediately recognize a very particular and special language that has become Shoshi Barbi’s signature. The designs have a certain graphic look that uses glam and pop symbols from our music and media culture. "It is always about the music and the music as a way of life," says Barbi.

One of the key inspirations for her collections is sheer escapism ~ using fashion as a way to leave the banal aspects of everyday life behind. "I believe that when we dress, we can take our style straight from our own fantasy world," says Barbi. "It has always been a way we can express ourselves." When you wear her designs you need to be ready to stand out and be bold.

Shoshi Barbi started her career as a graphic designer and you can see it clearly in her designs.  She was drawn to the fashion world, but she says it "chose" her. "If you are creative, fashion is a very visual way to present your ideas and have people identify with your vision," Barbi says. "In my case, life just took me on a path towards fashion.”

The process of creation is very important to Barbi. It starts with a moment when she is inspired by something. "It is always a "magical moment" when it happens," she recalls. "Thinking about something that instinctively takes me towards the point of creating  a new design. It comes to me naturally and is never planned. But as soon as the right inspiration happens, I just run with it.”

That magical moment that brings the new idea is then translated into Barbi’s next fashion creation. After the design is drawn, the real work begins. Everything from the smallest detail is created and monitored by Barbi: from the moment the fabric is created all the way to the printing of each and every design. "The way I see it," she says "every piece is my own work of art, so it has to be perfect."

As a graphic designer she is aware not only of the composition of a t-shirt for example but the overall look of an outfit. You can see the evolution and the growth of the brand by looking at the changing designs.

Barbi says the most rewarding part of the design process comes later, when the collection is ready and her clients see it for the first time. Her happiest moment is when one of her designs makes someone feel good and they let her know. "That just makes my day," she smiles. "It just makes it all worthwhile." She says her designs are not about making more money. "My creations, my way of doing my designs and the special niche I have created is more important to me than anything. Commercializing the brand is not my main concern or what drives me."

However, her collections are getting a lot of attention from international markets. The J*U*S brand is now being distributed in Europe. Another collection called Mister Rock Star was created especially for her collaboration with Universal Studios in the USA.  Barbi would like her designs to be available around the world and she plans on expanding into more markets.

"I hope that I can always reinvent myself and have a different story to tell,’’ explains Barbi. “I don’t want life's routine to influence my freshness and most of all, my creativity and that fire that keeps my ideas coming."

Click on photographs for full-screen slideshow
The designer's clothes are beloved of singers and musicians: "It is always about the music and the music as a way of life," says Barbi



Shoshi Barbi's collections are full of strong, graphic prints: "If you are creative, fashion is a very visual way to present your ideas and have people identify with your vision."



Shoshi Barbi's new Mr Rockstar collection for Universal in the USA. "My creations, my way of doing my designs and the special niche I have created is more important to me than anything. Commercializing the brand is not my main concern or what drives me."

In this picture Israeli singer Iggy Waxman wears Plastic doll. Photographer: Ohad Romano
"I don’t want life's routine to influence my freshness and most of all, my creativity and that fire that keeps my ideas coming," explains Barbi. 
A graduate of Shenkar College of Design, Barbi’s work is a favourite of not only Israeli musicians and actors but also international singers like Madonna.







Shoshi Barbi started her successful label eight years ago and is based in Tel Aviv. Her first major collection was called Plastic Doll ~ a mix of punk and pretty pieces.
"Creating  a new design comes to me naturally and is never planned. But as soon as the right inspiration happens, I just run with it,” says Barbi. 
The process of creation is very important to Barbi. It starts with a moment when she is inspired by something. "It is always a "magical moment" when it happens," she recalls.
"I hope that I can always reinvent myself and have a different story to tell,’’ explains the designer.



Barbi says the most rewarding part of the design process comes when the collection is ready and her clients see it for the first time. Her happiest moment is when one of her designs makes someone feel good and they let her know: "That just makes my day," she smiles. "It just makes it all worthwhile." Photograph by Michael Fisch
One of the key inspirations for her collections is sheer escapism ~ using fashion as a way to leave the banal aspects of everyday life behind. Photograph by Michael Fisch
Shoshi Barbi is able to combine hard-edged style with a leavening dash of humour and prettiness. Photograph by Michael Fisch
Shoshi Barbi was drawn to the fashion world but she says it "chose" her. "If you are creative, fashion is a very visual way to present your ideas and have people identify with your vision. In my case, life just took me on a path towards fashion.” Photograph by Michael Fisch
The designer's  J*U*S label (Just.Urbane.Stars) is a more mature brand but still with the rock and roll edge. Photograph by Michael Fisch
Looking at her collections, you can immediately recognize a very particular and special language that has become Shoshi Barbi’s signature. The designs have a certain graphic look that uses glam and pop symbols from our music and media culture.  Photograph by Michael Fisch
Everything from the smallest detail is created and monitored by Barbi: from the moment the fabric is created all the way to the printing of each and every design. Photograph by Michael Fisch






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