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Lee Grebenau’s Fashion Wonderland

by Roza Sinaysky | 08.12.13

Lee Grebenau is one of those unique people you don’t come across very often. Even at a very first glance you can tell there’s something enchanting about her. The same feeling you get when you see her dresses, you just know it’s magic. Her oriental inspired handmade collection of embroidered dresses won her a distinguished graduation from Shenkar and a huge support from the industry, less then a year later she opened her studio in Herzliya and started designing evening and wedding gowns by appointment only. She quickly became the rising star and one of Israel’s most promising young female designers. I just couldn’t I resist a trip to Lee’s fashion wonderland and discover what’s inside (and of course try a few things on!). Take a look for yourselves and get ready to gasp…

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So, tell us how it all started? How did you become a fashion designer?
I grew up in a house where fashion was all around, my father was the owner of the biggest buying offices in Israel, his business was in textiles. My mother is a fashion designer, she had her own label and did a lot of export to Europe. Today we work together she’s the manager of the studio, so you can say fashion is in my blood.

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What does it mean to you to be an Israeli designer?
For me, being an Israeli designer is a source of pride. Local design and production  is very important to me. Our country is young and doesn’t have a fashion tradition as there is  in other countries, but there’s roots and a wide range of cultures and communities, and that’s what creates the Israeli magic. My grandparents immigrated to Israel from Germany in the late 30’s and that is something that influenced me, I took a lot from their European culture as a child. Today I’m influenced by the Israeli climate, the landscape, the history, I’m also very influenced by the history of art and fashion.

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Tell us about your work process, how does a collection begin?
Designing a collection always begins with inspiration. It can be an amazing material that I found, a movie I saw or an art galley I visited. I’m looking for inspiration all the time, and once something stimulates me I keep it aside. I have a huge archive of inspirations and from that  I’m developing my collections. After I chose my  inspiration I deal mainly with development materials, choosing textiles is something very important in what I do, it is crucial to the creation. Next step is  draping, and only at the end I do sketches it’s easier to create three-dimensional shape when I feel the fabric.

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What is it that women are looking for in an evening gown or a bridal dress?
I think That feeling unique and beautiful  is the most important thing , especially for a bride, she has to feel comfortable, and not like she’s wearing a custom. I completely believe that the women makes the dress and not the opposite. 

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It seems like you are very inspired by Japan. Tell us about it and what other inspirations you have?
Like I said, I’m influenced by a variety of things, I travel a lot around the world and sometimes the smallest thing can go into my heart and stay there for a long time. Japanese tradition, culture, art, attire has been an inspiration to me for many years I even took a  Japan’s culture course and last September I fulfilled my dream and went to an amazing trip there, I recommend it, it’s such a special and interesting place. 

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Your last fashion show at TLV fashion week was incredibly beautiful, can you tell us what we can expect in the next collection?
Thank you very much! I can’t say a lot because it’s a surprise but I can say that I will keep my signature feminine style, and my main goal is to design what women want to wear.

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Any thoughts of plans selling world wide? 
Yes, I already have  regular and very loyal clients from London, New York and LA, who come to Israel especially to visit studio. But I like to take it one step at a time! 

For more details or to make an appointment click here.  

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