Designer Shahar Elroy launches a collection of natural garments for the modern woman.
Words by Andrew Wasserstein
Photos by Shalev Ariel
A designer’s repertoire and perspective is always evolving, melding formal education with real world training, literature read, conversations had, digital media consumed, and life experiences encountered. For designer Shahar Elroy, fashion was always her dream from a young age, but adulthood has led to a new philosophy towards the items she produces, the objects she brings into her home, and the fabrics she layers on her body day in and day out. After working under the guidance of mentors in both fashion and interior design, she is finally taking the leap into her own domain with the launch of Dawn, a womenswear line informed by natural materials.
From a cozy studio within Jaffa’s ancient flea market, Elroy has ideated her own approach to fashion, playing her small part in rejecting many of the pollutive practices of a global industry. Prominently displayed among her inspirational board is Man’s War Against Nature by Rachel Carson, a prescient novel from 1962 that has served as a guiding narrative for the brand. With silk as the base for Dawn’s first collection, ten looks will be available, each made to order and portraying a different method of material manipulation to produce unique textures, weights, patterns, and garment construction.
“Changing an existing system is complex and long, but I see it as the duty of new brands to forge that path from the get-go of their formation,” explains Elroy. “It was important for me to understand what my customer wants and to start small, producing with organic materials and a transparent supply chain from design to final product.”
The choice of silk followed a ten-month research journey into understanding the material, and determining how its structure could provide longevity, texture, and color - all while remaining chemically-free. As one of the more environmentally friendly fibers, the use of silk in fashion extends thousands of years, from royal houses to religious leaders. Produced in partnership with Peace Silk, a GOTS-certified factory in India, each garment of the Dawn collection is designed with ethically harvested silk that does not kill the worms, is left untreated in its natural state, and, in the case of color, dyed with a formulaic blend of herbs and vegetables.
“I created Dawn based on values, and the woman I have in mind is a collector of treasures,” says Elroy. “Just as she curates other aspects of her life, she is looking for meaning in the items she brings into her world.”
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, every individual is a curator of their own life, determining the objects with which they furnish their homes, the tools that facilitate their daily routines, the clothes they wear for work and leisure, and the trinkets they choose to display or hide in drawers and closets. For the majority of consumers, fast fashion dominates closet collections, with garments produced on a whim to match the latest social media fad. Pieces are designed to be photographed, documented, and discarded almost as quickly as they were conceived. For Elroy, Dawn is part of a growing awakening to break that cycle of endless consumption, instead creating items that will have longevity and serve their purpose at numerous events within one’s life.
“During the past few years I was living out of a suitcase, working in stints between Israel and New York, and found myself taking extra notice of the items I carried around. I quickly understood what was essential to my life and wardrobe, and what was not necessary,” she adds.
Dawn’s first collection is based on monochromatic suits that can be mixed and matched. The collection comprises three different silk sets, a tailored silk suit, a dress, a coat, and a hat designed in partnership with Aner Shabach.
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