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The Ball

Start Date 15 July 2021
End Date 11 December 2021
Venue The Design Museum
Location Holon, Israel
Curator Yaara Keydar Artistic and Shmuel Ben Shalom
Artistic Display and Mannequin Sculpting: Victor Vivi Bellaish
Exhibition display of dressed mannequins

Does seeking an escape from reality during challenging times attest to an inability to confront difficulties or, is it itself, a survival skill? In the modern age, especially in the aftermath of war, crises, and dark periods, sumptuous celebrations became an existential need designed to forget what had transpired and celebrate what remained, especially the future to come.

Throughout history, balls and the fashions created in their honor were reserved for the elite, yet the stories written about them made them accessible to all social classes. Fairy tales helped transform the ball into a gateway for escaping reality into a world of fantasy and imagination, and for overcoming social divides and barriers. Dreams are accessible to us all, together with the hope for a happy ending.

The exhibition “The Ball” is concerned with fashion’s ability to transport us into a magical world in which anything is possible, if only for one night. Extending throughout the entire museum, the exhibition features some 120 ball gowns representing both historical and contemporary designs, and some 50 accessories created especially for the exhibition by Israel’s top designers.

The Lower Gallery features a historical timeline of garments designed with historical accuracy, demonstrating the dramatic changes in the design of ball gowns and evening wear – as they evolved from the 18th century up to the 1980s. The Upper Gallery displays “The Modern Ball: Israeli Couture”, offering a glimpse into Israel’s evening-wear industry through dresses and gowns made by leading designers in the country. The display in the Peripheral Corridor, “Heart of Glass: A Journey in the Footsteps of Cinderella’s Slippers”, reconstructs the various cultural incarnations of Cinderella’s slipper, including both its feminine and masculine versions, using 3D-printed models. The Margalit Gallery features the work 11:59PM by Idit Barak, which brings together ball gowns familiar from fairy tales with thoughts about a new form of couture, using 10,000 meters of fiber optics. As the “last course” in the journey through the exhibition, the Design Laboratory becomes “The Whipped-Cream Room and the Mad Hatter”, bringing together the works of the designer Maor Zabar and the pastry chef Alon Shabo.

You are invited to immerse yourself in an unforgettable, multisensory experience that combines sound, set design and lighting. The creative dialogue between festive and everyday elements, and between the fantastic and the real, raises questions concerning the role of fashion in everyday life, escapism, exaggeration, and dreams of both riches and happiness.

Designers on display:

Shadi Abed | Chen Adar | Shlomi Anteby | Rivi Avivi | Shahar Avnet | Idit Barak | Victor Vivi Bellaish | Berta | BOOBA MACHO by Karin Vasiluk | Hila Cohen | Luci David | Tatiana Davidov (Studio Tiamanta) | Gadi Elimelech | Lia Fattal | Aviram Fima | Aharon Genish | Nimrod Gilo | Lee Grebenau | Brurya Haritan | Nofar Hatuka | Lihi Hod | Iota Studio | Adi Karni | Ohad Krief | Galia Lahav | Ronen Levin | Rotem Levitan‎‏ (Retema) | Noam Levy | Alon Livne | Shady Francis Majlaton | Chana Marelus | Tal Medina | Moni Mednik | Yaron Minkowsky | Evyatar Myor | Maya Naé | Eliran Nargassi | Nataf Hirshberg and Yanky Golian | Dylan Parienty | Yaniv Persy | Ruth Philosoph | Assaf Reeb |  | Katya Romantsov | Eden Saadon | Alon Shabo | Shai Shalom | Orwa Shareef | Sharon Tal (Maskit) | Rotem Shaul | Gal Shenfeld | Nadir Shoshany | Liora Taragan | Ariel Toledano | Michal  Yersanesh Mangisto | Maor Zabar | Mira Zwillinger Studio


Special Thanks:

David Adika | Gili Adler | Roi Baron | Ilan Beja and Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art | Nati Ben Hanan | Efrat Bigger | Assaf Bitton | Inbar Caspi | Eyal de Leeuw | Sagiv Galam | Nir Glaser | Yuval Golan | Hilla Hoitash | Ofir Kedem | Bilha, Deakla, Gideon and Omer Keydar | Adi May and Einat Tenenbaum – Kornit | Ori Lehavi | Dorit Levinstein | Ofer, Bracha & Michael Luft | Noni Malka | Natalie Nudell | Jacob Peres | Yigal Nizri | Ayala Raz | Etty and Gaby Rotter | Yuval Saar | Sahar Shalev | Saar Schwartz | Batia and Shaul Shani | Hadas Shapira | Yael Shenberger | Tamar Tauber-Pauzner | Tollman’s | Udi Urman | Tamara Yovel Jones

Image courtesy of The Design Museum, Holon, Israel. Photo: Elad Sarig.