Thursday, 4 November 2021

"The Ball", Design Museum of Holon

I first blogged about the Design Museum in Holon back in 2011, when it was a little over a year old. I have been back to see other exhibitions there over the years and recently was lucky enough to catch their current exhibition "The Ball", which is dedicated to Israel's evening and bridal gowns fashion industry. It features some 120 ball gowns representing both historical and contemporary designs, and some 50 accessories created especially for the exhibition by Israel's top designers.
The exhibition is divided into four sections. We began our visit in the Lower Gallery of the museum where a historical timeline of garments, "Re-sewing the History of the Ball", featured reconstructions of historical pieces. Designed with historical accuracy by the costume historian and creator Moni Mednik, the all white cotton muslin garments demonstrated the changes in the design of ball gowns and evening wear as they evolved from the 18th century, through the world wars, the Great Depression and up to the 80s.
We moved on to "The Whipping Room and the Mad Hatter", a stunning installation which brought together the works of the hatter Maor Zabar and the pastry chef Alon Shabo. The exhibition was intended as a playful look at the desserts that added a sweet touch to the balls. On display were 23 towers consisting of about 6,500 macaroons, 122 wedding cakes, tiered cakes and personal desserts, hand-sculpted from 500 kilos of sugar, almond powder, as well as cement and Styrofoam! All the dessert sculptures on display were handmade over 1,000 hours.
Zabar's hats were all handmade and inspired by desserts such as a toffee apples, Black Forest gâteau and candyfloss. A fashion designer by training, Zabar used unconventional materials, extreme proportions and angles that challenge gravity in the design of the 15 hats exhibited. They combined humour with surrealism and were a delight to see!
Next we took a look at the section of the exhibition called "Heart of Glass: A Journey in the Footsteps of Cinderella's Slippers". As Cinderella learned, the "look" can't be complete without shoes. A collaboration with Formlabs, which specialises in 3D printing, this section took us on a tour of various cultural incarnations of the Cinderella shoe, from 9th century China to thoughts of futuristic Cinderellas. The process of creating each shoe included sculpture, printing that lasted about 12 hours, dipping the shoe in alcohol and sanding with a manual finish, which gave it the glass look.
The Margalit Gallery displayed the work "11:59PM" by Idit Barak, which brought together ball gowns familiar from fairy tales using 10,000 metres of fibre optics, below. The thousands of lights glimmering in the darkness formed the silhouette of an opulent ball gown.
Then we went upstairs, to the Upper Gallery of the Design Museum, where "The Modern Ball: Israeli Couture" was on display. This section of the exhibition offered a glimpse into Israel's evening-wear industry through bridal gowns and evening gowns made by leading designers in the country. The curator of the exhibition, Yaara Keydar, wanted to show that the ball is no longer limited to Europe. It was important for her to include the Israeli perspective on proms and balls as well.
Lihi Hod, Shlomi Anteby, Maya Naé, "If You Will It, It Is A Fairy Tale."
The 82 dresses on display show the scope of the industry in Israel, which is at international standards. Even though we are in the Middle East, you could clearly see European history through the dresses, through puffed sleeves, crinoline and corsets. Highlights included dresses designed by Alon Livne and worn by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and a dress sewn from 15,000 old Israeli coins designed by Shai Shalom. Other striking designs included the Israeli musician Ninet Tayeb's wedding dress, designed by Victor Vivi Bellaish and Gadi Elimelech, colourful tulle dresses designed by Shahar Avnet, a digitally printed wedding dress designed by Lihi Hod, as well as a modest, ultra-Orthodox gown by Brurya Haritan.
The opening of the exhibition was postponed several times due to the pandemic. It finally opened in July but was definitely worth the wait! The design and colour of the displays were such a treat and I especially loved Maor Zabar's dessert hats.
"The Ball" is on display at the Design Museum Holon until December 11th.​​


Suzy, The Grey Brunette said...

WOW that exhibition looks absolutely amazing! I wonder if it will be exhibiting in any other countries? I would love to go and see that! Those dresses are so beautiful, as are the hats. Very inspiring!
Suzy x

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I love this museum - the exhibits are beautiful

Tamar SB said...

I love exhibits like this - what a great one!

Joanne said...

OH wow! This looks like an amazing exhibit! I have always been taken with evening wear and wedding dresses. It gives me all the princess feels.

VeggieMummy said...

What a fantastic exhibition. Ascot definitely needs more dessert hats! xx

Lovely said...

I would love to visit this place! The exhibits are amazing!

Fancyingfrance said...

I think I would have enjoyed this exhibition very much indeed. My favourite museum, in London, has to be the V&A where I have seen some fabulous fashion related exhibitions. Thanks for sharing! #pocolo

EricaSta said...

Such a fantastisc Post... I enjoyed reading.

There are fantastic scenes.

Thank you for sharing.

NCSue said...

A fascinating place! I can't imagine when I'd be able to wear such stunning haut couture, but it's fascinating to look at.
Thanks for sharing at

Fun60 said...

What a wonderful, interesting exhibition. The hats in particular are whimsical and fun.

Tom said... is a fascinating field and these fashions are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie 139a said...

Wow - the gowns are stunning, but the desserts are something else! Thanks for joining #PoCoLo

Villrose said...

Love this!

Shiju Sugunan said...

Some very innovative exhibits!

betty-NZ said...

These are some wonderful and amazing exhibitions :)

Thanks for sharing your link at My Corner of the World this week!