From veteran Israeli swimsuit and couture designer Gideon Oberson to cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, the 2019 edition of Fashion Week Tel Aviv truly had something for everyone – and indeed its theme was broadening the ideal of beauty to be fully inclusive.

Producer Motti Reif said models “of all ages, sizes, heights, colors and religions” were chosen for the seventh edition of the show to highlight “this important change taking place today in the world and to legitimize the fact that fashion belongs to everyone.”

In partnership with the Ministry of Economy, the March 11-13 event at Hangar 11 in the Tel Aviv Port featured 22 Israeli designers and opened with a gala tribute to Oberson, who will continue designing only swimwear after 56 years in the business.

An Oberson House of Design creation at Tel Aviv Fashion Week 2019. Photo via Facebook

The event included a plus-size runway show from new Tel Aviv fashion house Retema and an appearance by plus-size Eurovision champion Netta Barzilai modeling a Bananhot swimsuit.

Among participating designers/design houses in this year’s show were Dorin Frankfurt, Vivi Balaish, Shay Shalom, Comme-il-Faut, Alon Livne, Maskit, Idan Laros, Lara Rosnovsky, Dror Kontento, Bananhot, Shahar Avnet, Uriah Azran, Anya Fleet and Shoresh (Source).

Models display creations by Israeli designer Dror Kontento at Tel Aviv Fashion Week, March 11, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/FLASH90

Shoresh/Source – recently awarded the title “the most Israeli consumer product” in a competition held by the Ministry of Economy, and renowned worldwide for its outdoor gear including hiking sandals — headlined the Fashion Week opening show in honor of its 30th anniversary.

For this occasion, Source invited 30 Israeli fashion designers — including Ronen Chen, Rina Tzin, Tali Kushnir, Kian Frankfurt and Amos Wars — to design outfits inspired by the four elements of nature, water, fire, air and earth, to launch its newest made-in-Israel women’s sandal line.

The renowned fashion design department of Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art presented “All the Colors of the Rainbow,” a show of garment design spanning fashion trends from the 16th to early 20th century. The runway show was titled “We’re All Different and We’re All Equal,” in support of the Israeli LGBTQ community.

Shenkar students Tomer Even-Ari and Moria Ardilla designed these garments modeled at Fashion Week Tel Aviv 2019 by LGBTQ models. Photo by Ahikam Ben-Yosef

“While the designs shown on the runway reproduce period patterns and details, they do not reproduce the color palette. In place of the original colors, each garment was designed in one of the seven colors of the spectrum, from red to violet. The models in the show are the students themselves, who served as models for one another during the course, and on whom the entire pattern-making process was carried out,” Shenkar’s spokeswoman explained.

Shir Dani designed this menswear piece at Shenkar College for Fashion Week Tel Aviv 2019. Photo by Ahikam Ben-Yosef

Fashion Week also paid tribute to the 20th “birthday” of SpongeBob Square Pants with a fashion show inspired by Nickelodeon’s iconic character. The event included a benefit for Krembo Wings, an Israeli youth organization that integrates children with special needs into mainstream scouting movements.

From left, Roy Amoyal wearing a design by Shenkar student Tomer Stolbov and Ohad Nuri wearing a Dor Pichon & Moria Gueta design. They walked down the runway with their son, Rene, at the Shenkar Show at Tel Aviv Fashion Week, March 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/FLASH90