This is how it happens
Hey, Yael here,
I’m ATA’s fashion designer and collaborator in founding and rebranding since 2016.
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 was working 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 hesitations about a collaboration. I also knew that there wasn’t a chance I would this opportunity pass me by. I had to be the 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 were underway.
As early as 2011, we deliberated together about the delicacy of this transformation from something that was, to something that has legitimacy today. How do you effectively translate the culture and era when ATA’s garments were made to something that is relevant and even necessary in the present day?
To reach an answer and to clarify our vision, I needed to ask myself seemingly obvious questions; How do I live? Where? What am I doing? What is action? What are work clothes and what are clothes for work?
Investigation is conducted amidst action.
I created a sort of archive of ATA clothing from various time periods which are of interest to me. I also learned a great deal from the work of Dr.Dalia Bar Or and her doctorate thesis: ATA and Israeli society.
Perhaps because I am not a designer by training, garments for me are associated with people and their lives. With a consideration of what comprises ‘ATA clothing’ I evaluated what is absent and I thought in the case of ATA there must be meaning to the words as well. For example, for the first 20 years of its existence, there were ‘garment planners’ and ‘pattern drafters’. Words like ‘design’ and ‘brand’ were nowhere in the lexicon.
In a sense, this guided me in understanding why and what; why am I doing this or that, what is necessary and what can be done without.
I heard quite a few times from people who tried on ATA’s clothing that they feel a sense of ‘protection’ and I wondered why this could be, what it means and how it translates. I learned that apart from taste, all senses are activated from a piece of clothing. To the question of how we revived ATA, I’d say, it appears ATA never fully left.