From my live cam chat: Guest124: "If I met a woman wearing one of those dresses, I’d love to get hagbah (to lift the Torah high)."
Last night’s hottie-filled fashion show debuting Hasidic Levi Okunov’s spring collection was, despite the shvitzing of a hundred Heebs packed into an auditorium, very cool. Kudos to Andy Ingall and the JuMu staff for turning what is often a highly un-cool space into a place where it seemed like something new and sexy was actually happening in real time. Kudos to Melissa Shiff for trancing us out to digital mandalas made of Hebrew letters and sacred objects. And kudos to whoever bought the free vodka.
But mostly, kudos to Levi Okunov himself, interviewed elsewhere on this site, and ably profiled by Jennifer Bleyer on Nextbook, who fused his Hasidic background and his audo-didactic fashion sensibility to create work that could’ve been novelty, could’ve been irony, but actually was art. Would that the vanity projects of some absurdly-funded Jewish narcissists were as careful to avoid the easy temptations of kitsch. What’s the difference? Whereas aint-it-cool cultural kitsch is just a snide in-joke, Levi Okunov is actually trying to say something, to make something new.