The Desert Flower Runway Show, featuring the Spring 2018 Collection of emerging Israeli designer Matan Shaked, ended with a Finale worth waiting for. That’s no surprise given the man behind the runway’s final exclusive piece. Aviad Arik Herman, an artist from the Negev, has distinguished himself in the fashion community with sprawling mural dresses at many Miss America pageants. Focusing his attention on the cultural background surrounding pageant finalist, he crafts garments covered in significant landmarks and national icons. We got to catch up with Aviad after the show to learn more about his beautiful design.
How did you feel about your show? Were you excited? Were you a little overwhelmed?
- I am definitely very excited. I’m also very, very honored to get this amazing, extraordinary opportunity to present a special and meaningful piece in this venue at a fashion week opening event. So, really blessed.
What inspired you to design for dance companies? Are you a fan of dance?
- Well, I guess you can say I’m a dance fan, but I’ve also been a performer myself. I’ve been dancing for the past 15 years. So, having designed stage costumes for dance, theater, and film, it’s something that’s very close to my other field of work.
What inspired your collection tonight?
- Tonight, I’ve designed one exclusive piece. It was not a collection. What inspired it were the core values of the Negev, the south region of Israel, and what that area represents. It’s a lot like the work I often do for the Miss Universe pageant when I design national costumes. I inquire about traditions, history, current events, culture, art, and whatever else seem relevant. All of that, putting all that thought into this piece lead to creating something that can symbolize everything the Negev itself symbolizes. So, we created a community artistic project, something very original. It was not just about making a nice or beautiful dress, but something that implied a lot of meaning and value. It was a collaboration of various artists from the Negev who all invested their time and creativity and effort into facilitating this creation. We collaborated with an amazing sculpture maker, Mia Shapira, who’s done amazing silk dyeing, and Bedouin women who do their authentic embroidery in the desert. So, in the end, all these components came together into this creation which is really, really beautiful. And to me, above all, it truly represents the commitment to bloom, to grow, to invest, and to develop and build. Principles that, to us, are what the Negev is all about.