Though I grew up in Carmiel, I was born in Haifa. In a small building in Allenby St., to mom – a young nurse at Rambam hospital, and dad – a student at the Technion, recuperating from a war injury. During the first two years of my life, I have managed to travel the city by foot, despite neighbors’ protest of “child abuse”. To collect shells from Bat Galim beach, sing with the birds at the local Zoo, and to visit the hospital twice with dislocated shoulders. (Being flexible has its drawbacks.)
Building Photo: Eyal Tagar
The beautiful studio of Kim Dror, KIMKA STUDIO, is located not too far from where I was born. In Hadar neighborhood, inside a meticulously conserved building, she creates magical blue worlds. I paid her a visit.
Following my military service, with a natural inclination towards aesthetics, I participated in a course of textile design. The brief experience resulted in further experimentation, and with the outcomes, I applied to WIZO Haifa Academy of Design and Education. I did not know how to draw or sketch, but they were intrigued enough to accept me.
+By the way, she now teaches at the academy.
During my internship in London, I visited the Victoria & Albert Museum on a weekly basis. Every time drawn to the same blue kimono. The fascination continued when I traveled to Japan to study with a 90-year-old master how to extract the pigment from the plants, and how to dye the thin cotton fabrics. The blue tones relax me, and the philosophy behind the production process enchants me.
+Today Kim dyes some of the fabrics herself, imports others, and uses everything to create garments and lifestyle products. Some items are hand crafted, and some designs are massed produced in local workshops.
I once saw a poster painted in indigo colors, with a quote by Brad Melzer that said – Dream big, work hard, stay humble.
Perhaps we should all follow this suggestion, but it stuck with me because it provokes an association to the world of indigo. From the elderly master who’s hands have turned blue from endless dyeing of fabrics, to the blue collar workers of the world who wear their denim overalls to work every morning.
Israels’ National Lottery Fashion Hub Project:
At the end of 2018 I was chosen along with six additional young fashion designers to participate in this project. Each of us was given a financial grant, as well as mentoring guidance. The highlight of this journey took place last month when we shared a fashion show at Tel Aviv’s Fashion Week. My mentor was Sasson Kedem, and it was chemistry at first sight. In preparing for the show, he asked me to disregard thoughts about the financial probability of the designs, but rather to focus on gathering the sum of my inspirations as a designer. When a designer of his experience and stature mentors you, you listen.
Collection Photos: Lior & Hadas Photographers
In creating the collection for the Hub, I have thought of tribalism and travels among cultures which use indigo and other crafts, such as Japan and Mongolia. I also had the current herd like nature of us as customers in this age of globalism in mind. After all, we all own a pair of jeans and T-shirt. That is why the collection holds details such as Sashiko stitches, quilt work, and round shaped felt patches on one hand, and a great deal of denim on the other.
Where do we go from here:
Like many others in the world of design have said before me, the future is bright for those who will collaborate successfully. I recently collaborated with an industrial designer who used my fabrics to create light fixtures, and I would to love to pursuit this line of exploration. As far as textile, I hope to play around with persimmons. Some cultures extract pigments from this fruit. When used on fabrics, it results in beautiful shades of red loam. Combining it with denim could be very interesting.
In the meantime, you can purchase Kim’s products online, and schedule a studio visit at 050 – 689-3727. In the near future, a shop in Tel – Aviv will also be available.
This Thursday and Friday, 4-5 of April, Kim will attend NIHONGA, an art and design concept event at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Jaffa.
The soundtrack accompanying the creation of this collection included Polo & Pan. Electronic and melodic.