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Fashion Designer, Ihab Jiryis Showcases His Evening Wear and Exquisite Couture Gowns

By Jules Lavallee

Ihab Jiryis is a Palestinian Arab based in North Palestine, who prides himself for his Brand IHAB JIRYIS, evening wear and exquisite Couture Gowns. Ihab’s passion for fashion has been since he was a child, he has always enjoyed sketching designs. Ihab holds a first degree in fashion design from Shenkar College. He has developed his own Avant Grade label for 12 years now, he felt it wasn’t enough for him, he pursued his studies and achieved two Master's degrees; Masters in theatrical and cine, professional in dress and decor design and the second master is Master of Design Program, M.Des design. Ihab Jiryis as a fashion designer believes and acknowledges the power of the dress; the dress speaks to the audience and reflects our personality. Ihab Jiries believes that the dress identity comes from small details and superior quality of elite finish. Ihab’s collections have always been met with praise and showered with compliments for his unique innovations and designs. Ihab Jiryis is quoted for his manifest where he says “your dress is your second skin, your natural skin is organic and your second skin should be a royal covering that protects it”.

Jules: You took on the challenging concept of “fashion and death” with your fall winter collection. What compelled you for this dichotomy?

Ihab: Talking with the Death Beyond goodbye Talking about death is a scary thing. All of us can relate to that! We’ve all felt upset, uncomfortable or awkward when the topic is approached, which leads us to avoid it in the future. Although our intentions are usually good, and we don’t want to cause any upset, in the long-run the consequences can be difficult to deal with. We understand that talking about death is a bit of a taboo. Yet, when we talk about it, we actively help to break down those barriers, and make it that bit easier and acceptable for people. I believe that when we are able to face death openly, and approach it peacefully and positively as a natural part of life, we will feel empowered to live our days to the fullest. The collection was inspired by a study of fashion and death. We are all aware that there is a parallel between the human body and clothing. Because, like a perishable body, the garment ages over time. Just as fashion is timed and limited, so is the human body; when it is damaged, it becomes less desirable, oppressive, and loses its vitality and beauty.

In today's western amber, fashion speaks of power, strength, aesthetics, beauty, and indulgence rather than death. Death in the fashion world is expressed on many levels, including perceptions of body and garment. I chose to express the human body and present it as aesthetic and beauty values in the collection I created. Beyond being aesthetically pleasing, functional, and wearable, the collection evokes various feelings and sensations such as compassion, softness, bridal, and tenderness, as well as sadness, rigidity, and roughness. These emotions were created by combining various materials, fabric developments that I created, with unique cuts. Without any need for phrases, the feelings are communicated to both the viewer and the user.

Jules: What challenges have you faced along your journey as a fashion designer?

Ihab: Boys play with trucks; girls play with Barbies. This is what I was taught as a child. But this was not my truth, the truth is; I secretly played with my sister's dolls as dressing them up was my favorite thing to do. I remember very vividly that day when my younger sister caught me cutting and gluing her doll's extra little clothes. And that's when the dream of pursuing my passion in fashion began…But with every dream comes a challenge, and oh boy my challenges were many, too many! Where to begin? Let's begin with the close circle challenges then move to the wider ones.

A boy (who's soon to be a 'man') born and raised in a small traditional typical Arab-Palestinian village in the Galilee, is expected to be everything BUT a fashion designer (or a dancer, or a makeup artist, or any "feminine" hobby or career of that matter). My parents, the family, relatives and even the neighbors, they all expect you to pursue a 'manly' education and career. And if you're to be academically achiever like I was then it's a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or accountant.

Ihab Jiryis, Founder and Creative Director of IHAB JIRYIS.

My parents were very assertive and harsh when it came to my education and career, harsh enough that they almost shattered my dream apart… but that's not their fault, it's just the way it was in our community back then… after high school graduation I went to study computer science at the university, my body was at the faculty of science, but my heart was beating for fashion. Until one day I had enough, no more hiding my passion, no more suppressing my dream! Fashion and design school, here I come! I dropped out of the science faculty and 4 years later I proudly graduated from my first (and NOT last) fashion-design degree. Now what? What can an Arab-Palestinian young man in Israel possibly do with a fashion degree? Finding a job in Tel Aviv was not an option, they'd never hire me! Open my own business? How can I with absolutely no money? Until one day, a small window opened to me. A friend of mine asked me to design her dream wedding dress. And there it was, my first wedding gown and it was beautiful! And just like that, my phone started ringing, receiving orders for costume made wedding and evening dresses.

Step by step, with very little and so few sources, the name of Ihab Jiryis grew, and my business started growing, very very slowly with tons of financial difficulties, but steady and proud. And all this magic happened (and still is) from the basement of my parents house in the very same village I was born and raised in; Kufr Yasif. With every dress my passion grew more and more, and my lust to dig deeper and know more about the world of design and fashion grew bigger, that's when I decided that I want to pursue my academic studies in fashion and designs. Back to school for Master of Design (MDes), the more I learned the more I wanted to learn more, so after I was done with my first MDes, I found myself studying for another one; this time in a field that has always fascinated me: Theater! Another MDes in Theatrical and Cine; dress and décor. And now, as my passion for academic studies grows, I am about to finish my PHD in design. The first ever Palestinian designer to hold a PHD degree in fashion design.

So between my business, having developed my own Avant Grade, my own brand in which I combined my two worlds; the world of fashion and beauty and that of high academic studies of design, I found myself getting closer to my dream. Or so I thought… but then the biggest challenge ever has appeared, like a very thick wall which seems impossible to get through. Years upon years I've proudly watched amazing fashion designers from the Arab world reach far and proudly raise the name of their countries high, being proud of their hometowns and proud of their passport. Today, we Arabs are honored by the names of many Arab designers who have conquered the world of fashion and design. And there it was, having established my name at my home occupied Palestine, or what is known as Palestine 48 (Israel) among my Arab-Palestinian community within the 'green-line' and in the WestBank, and having successfully pursue my academic studies, my next move was naturally wanting to dress the amazing women of the Arab world. How can I? With my problematic passport and challenging identity, how can I dress and meet the beautiful Arab women all over the Arab world? How can I get the chance to be heard and to be able to proudly represent my Palestinian people, especially those whose voice have not been heard for many many years now; us the proud Palestinians who live within the green line.

Jules: What is the connection between the inside of us human-what happens within us psychologically-and the outside, through clothing?

Ihab: The concept of dress refers to the influence it has on others, its relationship with the body, and one's behavior. The concept of dress refers to the transmission of information about one's identity. A person's choice of clothing can have a significant influence on how others perceive them. Your appearance can make or break a person's first impression. A person's choice of clothes can influence how others perceive them. The dress is a stimulus that can be used to describe one's identity and behavior. It can also influence others' attributions and relationships between the body and self.

The type of material, shape, and style of clothes that a person chooses can have a significant impact on their emotions. The way they feel about themselves can also be influenced by the clothes they choose. Various sociological and cultural theories have tried to give conflicting explanations regarding the motives of human clothing. For instance, some believe that dress is motivated by modesty, while others claim that it is also motivated by sex. Despite the environmental conditions that determine the purpose of clothing, its form is determined by a person's own characteristics and mental traits. The forms of clothing are influenced by various social and physical conditions. Some of these include sex relations, costume, class, religion, and caste.

The concept of dress is founded on the idea that a person can express his or her subjective social sentiments through the use of clothing. The development of this concept is carried out through the cultural and psychological aspects of men.

Jules: Your designs have been described as ultra-feminine feel with nostalgic elements. Tell us about your recent collection.

Ihab: My recent collection: The Ethereal type is a type of beauty that exists, but most systems don't allow it. It's feminine in appearance, it has sexual or youthful features.

For me fashion, ethernal means sheer and delicate textures, fabrics that breathe and shine, and angelic, elegant motifs. youthful vibe is enhanced by the flutter sleeves and the sheerness of the fabric. The feathers, light-as-air fabrics, and intricate details that are featured in garments are what extraterrestrials are most fond of. They look like they're wearing clothes that are made out of clouds, mist, stars, and moonbeams.

Jules: What is essential for the dress?

Ihab: One of the most important factors that a person can consider when it comes to dressing to impress is to show who they are. This is done through expressing themselves through their own style.

  1. Your first impression is likely to be influenced by the colors that you're wearing. Color can have a huge impact on how you feel and look, and it can make you stand out from the crowd. Wearing vibrant colors can also help you attract people.

  2. Getting ready for your own body type can be a no-brainer, but there are times when we tend to avoid it altogether. It's important to take a good, hard look at your body to see if it's still what you want it to be. One of the most important factors that a person can consider when it comes to their body type is to love their every curve. This will allow them to look their best, regardless of their size.

  3. Your personal scale can help you put together outfits that are appropriate for you. It can also determine the size of your jewelry and how wide your belts are.

  4. Getting to know yourself and what's really important to you will help you create an outfit that will make you feel better about yourself. Having this knowledge will allow you to make an informed decision when it comes to your wardrobe.

Jules: Share your asymmetrical flounce pieces with a retro-inspired flare. What was your inspiration?

Ihab: There is an extreme amount of difficulty and commitment when a job requires both reality and imagination. You have to combine two complete opposites to create something new and self-manufactured. A job that includes this requirement is Fashion Designing. When reality is based on what you can see and touch, and imagination is something from the mind and its creativity, something absolutely spectacular can be made.

Everyone desires that imagination becomes reality, and in some ways, parts of it really do. With the world alternating persistently, we all try to escape the reality we find ourselves in and find ourselves in the world of imagination. However, this pushes us into a state where we find ourselves slowly disconnecting from reality and allowing imagination to be what you believe in. In my new collection, I manifest my ideology visually by drawing sketches and designs that will collate these two worlds, these two worlds can’t exist without the other they complete each other and they cannot be identical. We will witness in my collection so many things that harmonically contradict the other like exposed and covered, colors that are completely different, fabrics that is plain and others that are embroidered. I have used various kinds of fabrics; silk chiffon. designs that are loose to cover body shape and others that is tight to boost body figure. I sincerely believe in the power of the dress and the styles that express ideas and emotion that mirror and reflect what we have in our hearts and brains.

Jules: What can we expect from your designs at LA Fashion Week 2023?

Ihab: The field of fashion is different from other disciplines as it focuses on living in the present. Every day, when you put on an outfit, you are able to recreate yourself. Sometimes, even though you're with your partner, you might not feel like wearing the clothes that you're wearing. If you're trying to reinvent yourself, clothes can help you do so. They can help you get through various transitions in your life. People all around the world are fascinated by fashion. It's a fascinating subject that people can learn a lot from. The goal of clothing was to provide warmth and protection, as well as maintain one's modesty in its original form. However, it has evolved to various sophisticated forms. Nowadays, clothes are used to express one's self, enhance one's physical attributes, display attractiveness, and conceal insecurities.The way clothes appear can be influenced by various factors. Some of these include the location of the garment, its type, and the person's personal tastes.

The sustainable fashion movement is becoming more popular in today's fashion world. Mass production has become unacceptable, and consumers are demanding that companies stop disregarding the environment. Companies that recycle used clothes are also becoming more popular. The fashion industry has changed from being a necessity to something that's used for aesthetic purposes. It's expected that things will turn out well for the industry.

The fashion industry is regarded as one of the most innovative and prominent organizations in the world. The fact that it's a necessity ensures that it will never be considered outdated. It will continue to develop and improve in order to make its look more modern.

Today, fashion is still relevant and will continue to evolve as long as there are people who are willing to try new things. The industry is full of promise and creativity, and it will continue to grow as long as there are individuals who are capable of making old styles new. The textile industry is also expected to continue developing and improving.

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