Avant-Garde Jewish (Eco)Fashion

All photos by Dan Sieradski

That’s model Oksana Baiul (former Olympic medal skater) in one of Okunov’s designs

As part of their Off the Wall exhibition, which features up-and-coming artists, The Jewish Museum in Manhattan threw a super-fun fashion show and party last Thursday night. I attended with Dan Sieradski, AKA Eco Chick’s ubergenerous webmaster. After hearing from some of the artists in residence and enjoying some delicious gratis vodka, the runway show was kicked off with a showing of Melissa Shiff’s beautiful mandalas, which reminded me of the Summer of Love exhibit at the Whitney last year.

Levi Okunov, who designed his line based on Jewish ritual objects from the Museum’s collection used some reused, reinterpreted and reworked fabrics including prayer shawls, his brother’s old down coat, and handpainted fabrics.The look of each outfit really tied into the overall theme. Whether you’re a catwalk veteran or a suburban Ralph Lauren devotee, it’s hard not to feel intrigued about the origin of such work. Okunov’s output has certainly been a success.





Designer Levi Okunov at work

None of the models in the show wore shoes…just funky painted feet!

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.