International Student Design Competition Apparel Winner 2023: Tamar Elbaz
9th October 2023
Tamar Elbaz is a 25 year old designer from Tel-Aviv and a 3rd year Fashion Design student at Shenkar College of Design, Engineering and Art. She sees fashion as a way of life and self-expression. Through her designs and creative process, she explores, studies and asks questions about the topics she is enthusiastic about. Her design process and ultimately her clothes are the tools that she uses to express herself. Fashion Designer is who she is to the core, and she works every day to innovate, to grow and evolve and to be the best version of herself.
INTERVIEW WITH TAMAR
Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:
My design was inspired by the work of the artist and sculptor Jean Hans Arp, entitled “Human Concretion”. Jean Hans Arp was brought up during the Franco-Prussian war , the aftermath of the battle saw the city returned to French rule. His name was consequently changed from Hans to Jean. Jean’s outlook on the world was certainly shaped by these times, and his true self remained undefined for a long time. Later, as a key figure in the Dada Movement during World War I, he explored biomorphism, crafting abstract forms inspired by living organisms. My main inspiration came from a statue made from plaster which remains in its natural white color. This material was significant in Jean’s design process and can be found in all his pieces. Plaster is flexible in nature and receptive to Jean’s creative instinct and artistic whims, allowing him to intuitively sculpt biomorphic shapes. This 3D piece of art is detached from physical boundaries, and with its round and swollen shape, enhances its surrealistic nature. It has raised questions in my mind regarding the dynamic interaction between body and clothing. My collection is inspired by these biomorphic forms characterized by rounded and asymmetrical lines. I chose to work with natural and raw colors akin to Jean’s preference to the original white plaster of his sculptures. I wanted to create clothing that alludes to the same experience that Jean’s sculptures evoke – where every angle from which the garment is viewed elicits a unique impression. My intention in this collection was to transcend the boundaries between body and garment, and for the garment to manifest the sense of infinity, the absence of concrete boundaries.
What has been your experience in working with leather for this competition?
This was my first experience working with leather, and I found it to be an incredible and versatile material that offers a wide range of possibilities. My experience with leather was undeniably challenging and enriching. Leather possesses unique properties that come with certain limitations, requiring you to adjust your approach and vision to suit the material. For me, this experience was exceptionally positive and significant because it challenged me to relinquish control and, in some instances, allow the material to guide me intuitively. This creative process involved not knowing the final outcome but creating without preconceived notions, with a focus on the journey rather than the end result. This approach aligns closely with my inspiration for the project.
How do you think winning this competition will impact your career as a designer?
I believe that winning the competition will have a significant impact on my career. It presents a tremendous and distinctive opportunity for me to showcase both myself and my work to an international audience. Furthermore, participating in the competition provides me with the chance to connect with professionals in the fashion industry, offering the opportunity to build relationships and gain valuable insights from them. This experience will allow me to learn from their expertise and draw inspiration from their experiences.
What are your thoughts on leather and sustainability, and how you think leather can adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?
In my view, leather is a material that promotes sustainability through its unique properties. Leather imparts a sense of timelessness. It is a material that endures over the long term, resisting various conditions, and maintaining its timeless and valuable appeal. Additionally, leather boasts a wide array of applications, ranging from clothing and furniture to footwear, bags, and jewellery. Thanks to its durability, leather can be recycled and repurposed for a multitude of options, contributing to its sustainability.
Click here to view all the shortlisted entries from this year’s International Competition.
Click here to learn more about leather and sustainability.