Waltzing Into Fashion: Artsi Ifrach
PHOTOS BY ANTON BELLORINI
Artsi Ifrach is waltzing into fashion. The 39-year-old Israeli designer has dedicated the first half of his life ballet, and the second to couture: He retired from the latter age 22 and began to direct a fashion boutique in Tel Aviv. Six months later, he made the big leap to Paris and launched his label, Art/C. Today, he operates out of his private apartment-store in 7th arrondissement and makes individual, made-to-measure pieces, in a style blending stage costumes and frilly bling.
This Friday, on the occasion of Paris Couture Week, he showed a full-blown collection influenced by the French Revolution. He showed Baroque and bare-legged outfits composed of culottes, tri-color chest banners, two-pointed hats à la Napoleon, and gauzy skirts. Francophile touches were emphasized by the soundtrack of accordion music.
All these were made out of recycled couture fabrics, some of them pieces by Emilio Pucci, Oscar de la Renta and Gucci. “I intentionally use materials that only exist in very small quantities, so they can’t reproduced,” said Ifrach. “Fashion is rapidly outdated because it becomes copied, but I want my clothes to be still be beautiful and unique in ten years.” Ifrach admits that French women bring a special type of inspiration to his collection: “They are naturally chic. But they can’t be compared to Israeli women: back at home, fashion is a second choice, the army is of course the first choice.”
France was an escape for him, he says, “It was my revolution, this is why I liked the theme of the French revolution—every one has their own revolution and their own ‘French chic.'” Ballet still occupies his clothes through the bouncy elegance and intricate detailing of his designs, but “when you dance, it is there for a moment and then it goes away. But fashion stays and lives in the street every day.”