Ilana Efrati is an independent fashion design and the creator of the Ilana Efrati and AA fashion labels. In 1985, after graduating in Arts and Graphic Design, Efrati launched her independent fashion label Ilana Efrati in Tel Aviv, Israel. She has made an important contribution to Israeli fashion design ever since, developing a unique style inspired by the urban life of Tel Aviv and by Italian quality tailoring know-how. Since 2005 Efrati divides her life between Tel Aviv and a small village in Umbria, Italy. She renovated a medieval rural house, where she now lives and produces organic olive oil and wine. Life in the country side allowed Efrati to reflect on her professional ethos, dedicating greater attention to the natural seasons, to the impact of consumerism on nature and to the environment we live in.
At a time when the world, and in particular the world of fashion, is oriented towards chasing the trendy and temporary, losing touch with nature, Efrati wishes to take a pause. She leaves her busy urban workshop to wander in the Italian countryside, and her work echoes the beauty in the simplicity of everyday nature. She dedicates time and space to observing the flow of the natural cycle, and the basic ways in which people use the materials they find in the environment. In her works, Efrati tries to track down the most primordial processes of nature: the cycle of seasons, germination and decay, light and shade. In her minimalist interventions she wishes to leave the ‘protected zone’ of the city and return to a life in which humanity was still synchronized with those natural cycles.
The fabrics seeks to ‘freeze’ a moment in the garden’s seasonal cycle. Silk, linen, wool and cotton cloths were hand-printed with plants, flowers, leaves and buds, all found in the vegetable garden’s immediate environment. Thus, the printed fabrics become a unique and unrepeatable aesthetic memory of a moment in the infinite natural cycle of seasonal change. Efrati explores the relations between nature and the repeated attempts of mankind to appropriate and organize it.
Efrati creates a comparison between the earth and the fabric as a canvas upon which she produces compositions to investigate the relations between the wild and the aesthetic, and to distill their unique essences. She creates an intentional blurring between the natural and the artificial and uproots the dichotomies of man-made/natural, art/fashion, particular/universal.
Efrati, who for many years perfected the functional and aesthetic harmony of fabric and cut in fashion design, turns with these textiles to artistic practice. In a rough and intuitive manner she observes and narrates the beauty hidden in the process of creation, growth, decay and disappearance of raw materials in nature.