Presence is the first attribute that comes to mind upon viewing Lizette Avineri’s clothing.
The collection was inspired by a recent trip to Israel, where Avineri experienced a case of the Jerusalem Syndrome: “A mental phenomenon comprising the presence of delusions, obsessions or religiously-themed ideas that are triggered by visiting Jerusalem.”
This syndrome creates a complex yet brilliant palette for her first full collection, which she showed this past May in Parson’s annual Fashion Benefit. Avineri exhibited her handiwork by hand-painting and embroidering every garment while also incorporating her own artwork. Using her own digital prints on the fabric, she successfully maintains a fluid message and premise throughout her collection.
“Interpretations of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, cathedral motifs, embroideries and geometric patterns of Muslim and Bedouin traditions are represented,” Avineri explained in an interview. She cited her designer muses as Proenza Schouler, Prada and Missoni, to whom she undeniably holds a similar intricacy.
Such thoughtful and artfully presented designs come from a lifetime of exposure. Born to a Polish-Colombian mother and a Romanian-Israeli father in Los Angeles, she spent the majority of her life in Florida and Texas. “I like to explore social ideas in ethnic, nomadic, indigenous and pop cultures; gender; feminism and sexuality,” she said. Avineri grew up with multi-cultural connections but also experienced many of America’s sub-cultures. These experiences allowed her to weave multi-faceted themes into her clothing.
After graduating from Parson’s this past spring, Avineri was hired by Yarnz NY. Currently, she is Assistant Designer for the contemporary accessories line but holds dreams to begin her own line in the future. “I want to continue creating exciting designs that can make women feel excited and unique.”
TEXT BY Sara Iravani