Poetic winter by Ronen Chen

by Roza Sinaysky | 14.10.13

Ronen Chen graduated from Shenkar, Israel’s prestigious fashion academy in 1990. After a few years of design experience for local fashion labels, Ronen set out in 1993 to design his own unique label

Within one year, he opened his first boutique and studio on Tel-Aviv’s fashionable Sheinkin Street, and began designing larger collections, still faithful to the same design concept: femininity, modernity and comfort

In 1995, Ronen first exhibited his collection in London. The style which had become his trademark in Israel proved a success abroad. His dresses caught the expert eyes of the European buyers, and the orders followed

Today, Ronen Chen’s collections are sold in 18 Ronen Chen stores in Israel, two flag stores in London, an on-line store and more than 400 selected boutiques throughout the world

As Ronen launching his winter collection with this beautifully shot catalogue I thought this is the perfect time to interview the man himself.

Photos By: Alon Shafransky Style: Mazal Hasson

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You’ve been a leading Israeli fashion designer for many years now, can you tell me how Israeli fashion changed in the last few years? 

I don’t really know if there is such a thing as Israeli fashion, it seems to be very international. One thing I can say about Israel in general is that we embrace change and evolve rapidly, be it in fashion design, technology, architecture and other creative fields.

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I love this season’s look book, can you tell me about the inspiration behind it?

My catalogue for AW13 is inspired by the great Dutch painters, and it was pure pleasure to make. Interior scenes, rich colours, beautiful natural light, evocative subjects. Yael Goldman, my presenter, is glowing here in the early stages of her pregnancy, and the photographer Alon Shafransky is in his element here. It’s exciting to see my designs come to life in this modern and quietly elegant interpretation of one of my favorite genres of painting.

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Do you have a muse? 

My muse isn’t necessarily a figure or a woman that I know. More a constant, eternal search for the perfect line. Often it is the fabric itself that organically leads me to find that line, or cut, or drape.

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 Can you describe your aesthetic? 

Modern. Clean. Minimalistic. Understated. Subtle tones. Items that become a part of you and who you are, leaving the centre stage for the woman who is wearing them.

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What does it take for an Israeli fashion designer to be successful? 

Talent, guts, thick skin, determination, good luck, local partners and charisma. Is that different from designers who come from anywhere else in the world?

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 There’s not much winter around here, how does it effect your winter collections? 

The winter does come eventually, it just takes longer to get here, and usually sticks around for less time, which is fine by me.

My collection evolves with the season. In essence, when we launch the winter collection at the end of August, it is still hot and sticky for at least another two months. So I build a collection of lightweight fabrics in an autumn palette. And I make sure there is an abundance of cardigans, jackets, sweaters. I love the sophistication and richness of winter layering, and it is the easiest way to resolve the challenge of a winter collection.

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