Growing up with a Polish-Colombian mother and a Romanian-Israeli father, Lizette Avineri takes the best of both worlds. She draws inspiration from her heritage and upbringing in America, which make her collection different and intriguing…
I was born in Los Angeles, California to a Polish-Colombian mother, and a Romanian-Israeli father. I grew up mostly in south Florida, and Texas. I attended a magnet art program in high school – Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of Arts, and just recently graduated from the Fashion Design program at Parsons The New School for Design.
What influences you as a designer?
My heritage and the change of American sub-cultures throughout my childhood, influence my design process. I like to explore social ideas in ethnic, nomadic, indigenous and pop cultures, gender, Feminism, and sexuality. I am also greatly influenced by anatomy, aquatic life, art, and technology. I love Proenza Schouler, Prada, and Missoni.
Upon a recent visit to Israel, I was inspired to create a collection that embodies a physical representation of the emotional, psychosis-like experiences felt through Jerusalem Syndrome; A mental phenomena comprising the presence of delusions, obsessions, or religiously-themed ideas that are triggered by visiting Jerusalem. The themes inspiring this collection are taken from both the religious and cultural elements of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Interpretations of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, cathedral motifs, embroideries and geometric patterns of Muslim and Bedouin traditions are represented. There are also references to religious dress codes, though purposefully distorted.
That’s a fascinating mix of characteristics…what methods did you use to achieve these different patterns and prints?
I hand painted and hand embroidered everything in the collection. Also, I designed a digital print with my artwork.
In your collection you are also using fur, which can be a controversial topic – what are your thoughts on that?
I really love the look and feel of furs, but I do not design with real animal fur. I don’t think It is worth abusing an animal, when you can look just as cool, or better in faux- fur. Therefore, in my collection I’m using Faux-Furs that I have had sponsored by the US Humane Society and the Premium Furs company in Paris.
What is your favourite piece in the collection?
My favourite piece in the collection is the Virgin Mary Dress. I love the way the colours on the textile look against the bold, orange fur back panel. I also Love the T-Shirt, made with the leftover parts of the Virgin Mary Dress fabric. I patch-worked all the pieces and cut my front pattern out of it.
With your collection being so full of character, what kind of woman do you imagine wearing your clothes?
The woman wearing my clothing is a strong woman that has her own opinion about everything, but the way she expresses it is through her fashion. She is fearless, creative and powerful.
When designing, what places, things and/or people inspire you?
I love researching and breaking down cultures in regards to: art, craft, textiles, philosophies and fashion. I love to compare civilization to the wild. Right now I am really interested in technology and popular culture. The designers I am greatly influenced by are Proenza Schouler, Prada, Marni, and Missoni.
What’s your favourite material to work with?
I don’t have one favourite material, because the part I love most is mixing the textures, colours and materials to create a balanced garment.
As a fashion school, how has Parsons been good for you?
I have always been an artist, and enjoyed sewing, so Parsons was the best way for me to realize my dreams of incorporating my love of art into wearable designs. During my time there I’ve learned many things, but what I kept closest was to go with what I believed in even if it seemed off, or different than what others were doing.
If you could go back in time and experience any fashion moment, what would it be?
I would love to have attended Alexander McQueen’s final collection, fashion show.
Who are your muses?
All of my muses are women that inspire me, so I would be so happy if they were inspired by my designs as well. I would love if Beyonce Knowles, Natalie Portman, Karin Dreijer Anderson (Fever Ray) and Dakota Fanning wore my designs.
I am currently an assistant designer in New York at Yarnz NY; it is a contemporary accessories line.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
My dream is to have my own womenswear collection in the next five years. I want to continue creating exciting designs that can make women feel excited, and unique.
If you weren’t a fashion designer what would you be?
If I weren’t a fashion designer, I would be an illustrator, or a fine artist. I enjoy working with my hands and creating things, so I would have to stay in a creative field.
What made you decide to be part of MUUSE?
I think it is a brilliant platform to showcase my work, and sell next to other recent graduates that don’t have any another way to get their designs out to the public. MUUSE makes it possible to produce and generate interest in young designers.