Hey, Yael here, I am a partnering founder and ATA’s fashion designer since we rebranded in 2016.
My partner.Shahar Segal is a film and commercial director, a visionary, with whom I’ve worked alongside for many years. We met on set, when I worked as a costume designer and stylist. In 2011, he visited the ATA exhibition at the Eretz Israel Museum, and contemplated how it could be that ATA had disappeared from our lives. Shahar being Shahar, didn’t waste any time, and this is how the new ATA was born. Having worked with him for years I had no doubts about a collaboration and knew that I was the right designer to weave together this transformation; the renovation of our factory and the cultural reawakening to enlist the marvels created by the labour and dreams of our parents and grandparents.
At ATA clothes are made for life; free from distractions, embellishments and over-expression, allowing for choice and opinion to remain on the part of those who matter most; the maker and the wearer.
ATA’s garments mould and improve with time. They are made unique by their wearer and are reflective of the minimalist Bauhaus landscape of TLV. It seems the beauty of ATA is this interface between people, natural materials and structure.
Established in 1935 as the premier textile factory in Israel, ATA earned its stripes through a history based on necessity. The young nation was concerned with something major: Self-Reliance on all fronts, no less so when it came to something seemingly trivial as a garment industry. In the early days, this meant the production of uniforms, work clothes, and tents and blankets for the Chalutzim and the new Olim. For five decades ATA manufactured garments from fabrics that were weaved in ATA’s factory and cotton that was grown locally.
The textile manufacturer became known for maintaining core values in quality of production, functionality and simplicity and became a symbol for a time of regeneration and innovation.
In 2016, ATA was reborn to fit the reality of this generation while keeping in line with the modest wisdom of past generations. After years of Western
In 2016, ATA was reborn to fit the reality of this generation while keeping in line with the modest wisdom of past generations. After years of Western opulence, and over consumption there is a thirst for basics and essence. We hope ATA’s clothing meets this need and makes room for authentic reflection on our doings and culture.
Every now and then people like to tell me "since you're not in style, you'll never be out of style", or "if you wait long enough that will become fashionable", or "when you can't find something you're looking for, it means it's either inessential or hard to make". And then blue was chosen as the color of the year.
Apparently there's such a thing. The Pantone Color Institute chooses a color for each year, and the color chosen for 2020 is "Classic Blue". I guess there's a reason that each year is assigned its own color. I have chosen to disregard it for years, not understanding why one color had to be chosen, because when I'm told something belongs to this year, I immediately start thinking what doesn't belong to it. This has been the case up until the moment that choosing a color has become relevant for me.
Blue can be found in the sea and in the skies, it makes you feel peaceful, it is genderless and belongs to every season. There's an indigo that you can stare at for hours, trying to understand its chemistry, which is naturally produced from a plant called Polygonum. Then there are concepts such as "blue collar" which is another name for the working class, or "blue blood" which is a term that describes someone who's a member of a noble or socially prominent family, and Hamsas, the popular Middle Eastern amulet that is believed to provide defense against the evil eye.
וAnd earthly things such as blue workwear, which was thought to camouflage the stains on the clothes (or at least make them stand out less).
Then there's ultramarine, and Pablo Picasso's blue period, and Yves Klein blue, named after the artist who invented the hue, and there's the blue hole that is a diving location on the Red Sea, and a blue that is a primary color and another blue (indigo blue) that isn't…
And each one of those blues has a different origin, and reason, and folklore and a formula, and boundless beauty.
Another such a blue is the ATA blue, which is this year's color, as well as the color of the year before that, and the year that preceded. For me, it is also the color of the year that follows and the year after that.
צילום: תמר קרוון
Looks like it's winter.
I'm thinking of the colors of the sky, how the water makes the side walks sparkle, the sound of cars in the rain, I'm thinking of what I should wear…
Someone once said that there are winter colors… some of the falling leaves and some of the grey of the sky. For me, winter colors are colors of other places.
The ATA sweatpants collection was shot in a distant town, 30 minutes away from Paris. It was shot by actress and musician Hen Yanni, and dancer and choreographer Imre van Opstal, alongside Lionel Ben Shimon in his exceptional hotel.
The clothes were packed in a box and shipped away in a culmination of a long stretch of time, full of thoughts, intentions, a hope to understand, and beginning of a new life elsewhere, in a different light, with its own temperament, temperature and gaze, and a gathering that took place and developed into the start of a new and surprising story, one that provides a different perspective.
ATA's blue sweatpants. To wear in winter.
This hue that is somewhere in between beige and grey was used for trench coats for the British soldiers who fought in the trenches in World War I.
Essential is such a beautiful word. Indispensable, crucial, fundamental, imperative, it describes them all.
ATA has a jacket that we consider to be essential.
Once, in the 1940's when Erich Müller needed a jacket, he painted one for himself, and said it must be called essential. We borrowed the name and were inspired by it (as that jacket had short sleeves).
Our ATA jacket is more like a " la veste de travail", a blue French work jacket which was owned by almost every worker worldwide.
Our essential jacket is sturdy, made of drill, a cotton fabric with a diagonal weave, and has four pockets: three external pockets and an inner pocket.
For some people, the most important piece of clothing are pants, and for them getting a new pair of pants is kind of like getting a house or at least a new couch.
So many things have to coordinate so that a body and a garment and what's in between could reside together in harmony, for something to be simultaneously present and absent.
The moment where you meet a pair of pants you want to move into is unlike any other. You want to take your time and enjoy it, getting used to a sense of your new love- be it new, old or renovated.
ATA's pants have an interior and exterior, they are of now and of later, and of before. Once you have one color, you'll be wishing for another and then another…
There's a sense of relief that accompanies the alleged assurance of knowing what will happen tomorrow, or the day after that, or next year. It's reassuring to look at tomorrow's weather forecasting for instance, and having the weather predicted for you, at times more accurately than others.
Sometimes when someone says, "it's too soon to celebrate", I think that it's never premature to celebrate and be happy, you can always be sad later… we should only worry that it's not too late to be happy.
Someone might have the secret to what will be worn in two or three years, what we would like to own, and how we will act- and a lot of it is related to the red skies in California, icebergs melting too fast, the stock market rising and falling, and people who protest against it all. Someone will always aspire to discover the secret ahead of time and be the one to declare it. That is until something happens that "could not have been predicted" or could have been predicted, but not to that extent.
That is partly the reason I like to make plans, ones that exist in their own world, and are not always realized.
We have many plans at ATA for the coming years, and no matter the uncertainty, we know that there will be a future.
Without realizing it, it's been four and half years, and we couldn't foresee what will happen in the years that follow. The one constant is that you will be there and so will we.
Wishing you a happy new year, love, joy, health and friendships.
There's a question I'm asked, where each and every word almost silences me forever: "what did you think of when you designed the collection and what were your inspirations?" So that I won't remain speechless, I found a permanent deflecting answer: the deadline.
On Tuesday, when I knew that I had to write something on Wednesday morning, I suggested that maybe once and for all I'll write of inspiration, and immediately changed my mind. So once again the deadline dictated everything (how could it be that I never realized that the word deadline is composed of death and a line??)
So I went to the beach and tried to think of nothing.
I also tried to compose the endless words, sights, thoughts and sounds into one coherent thought. I tried instead of focusing (I'm always being told to try and focus) to keep the center clear and blur the edges. It's kind of like turning off another streetlight, and then another, until the only thing that is lit is what you wish you could see the most.
I was thinking that everyone has his or her own path, and my path is not always a subject, place, or someone, but a moment in time wherein the storm of thoughts, of subjects, people, places, dreams and hopes are formulated into one simple clear thought that was placed pretty close by, and managed to excavate itself and stand in front of me, solid and conclusive.
There's something to be said in favor of deadlines…
Have a great weekend,
"I have no idea if it's going to be summer right now, or another season. Once I didn't know because I travelled so much and ended up experiencing a whole lot of summer and a whole lot of winter in one year. Now, I'm experiencing this feeling because I'm working on the winter collection in a summer that hasn't began yet."
I wrote this passage on Passover last year, when I could still hide away at home and say I've gone away. So soon it's already the new Jewish year, and none of this is relevant. For people like me, who like to make last minute decisions but have to make decisions way in advance for work purposes, it's really confusing.
In a place where heat and cold don't adhere to the agreed upon schedule, and it's as cold in air-conditioning as it is outside in winter, and soon it'll be dark in the late afternoon, but the sea is still noisy and warm like a summer's morning, one has the liberty to make up personal seasons. For instance, the covid 19 season is spoken of at the moment. Apparently, there will be two seasons- winter and summer, and you can't even guess how the tension between the outside and the inside will make you feel, and where we'll be, and if that's not enough the earth is playing tricks on us.
There used to be a custom where at a certain time you stored the clothes of last season "upstairs", and once something went up or down you could freeze or run too hot just because the ladder was put back into storage. It's a bit presumptuous, but, If I could cancel the seasons it could help me a lot, to live "in the moment". I don't except a protest from my coat and bathing suit for having to share the same shelf in my closet.
We have a bicycle in the studio, and each one of us takes turns to test-riding the clothes, and that's how we make decisions about sleeve length, back width, how deep the pockets should be, the waist's circumference, how many zippers should be used, and which pockets are necessary.
Overalls are the essential work clothes, and the ATA studio single mindedly (maybe for the first time) believes that they don't have a season, and you can never have too many. Everyone needs overalls in his/her appropriate length, and likes that you can wear them all day long- every day and anyplace.
Once an overalls design passes the test, it is given a one-way ticket. It comes and goes from season to season, sometimes it takes a break. Some seasons it's not manufactured at all…
A bucket hat is called in Hebrew "dumb hat", presumably because of its shape which resembles a dumbbell.
Nonetheless, the hat became the epitome of the Israeli sabra (a term that came into widespread use in the 1930s to refer to a Jewish person who had been born in the land of Israel).
It was manufactured in Israel in mid 1930s, becoming a favorite by settlers, strike force soldiers, and workers, thanks to covering both head and neck, having a lightweight design, and being able to be folded and placed in one's pocket. Those nostalgic hats were sewn by ATA.
In 2017 an exhibition opened at New-York's MOMA and the ATA bucket hat was featured in it as a timeless cultural item. 111 fashionable mythological items that represent different cultures world-wide were exhibited, revealing the cultural history that shaped our world.
The exhibition was entitled "Items - Is Fashion Modern? ": "clothing and accessories that have had a strong impact on the world in the 20th and 21st centuries—and continue to hold currency today". Luckily, researcher and fashion historian Yaara Keydar is responsible for getting our hat to be included among the 111 exhibits…
Getting into the MOMA happened by a fortunate coincidence. Yaara met one of the curators of the exhibition, reached out to us, and after a long search we were able to find a bucket hat from the 1950s, and it was sent to New-York.
For me, going to the opening was a great excuse for travel, not to mention the opening was an extremely exciting event…
"When I got to the MOMA I saw that the hat was displayed upside down, it's inner side and ATA logo facing out. I didn't know if it was on purpose or not, but it hasn't occurred to me to notify anyone else… upside down or not, an ATA label at the MOMA is a reason to celebrate". Our bucket hat resembles the original one and based on its shape. We also designed a hat model named Paula- if David Ben-Gurion was ATA's presenter, his wife Paula deserves a hat to be named after her…
Have a great weekend.
*parts of this text were inspired by Kerry Rubinstein's article "dumb, but long before you were" which was published on Ynet.