The highlight of our trip to Tel Aviv Fashion Week was seeing Pas Pour Toi, the label designed by Israeli actress Dorit Bar Or.
In creating an all black collection with super clean lines, Bar Or was able emphasize a wide array of skillful details that made the collection truly unique. Gold and black beading seen on a handful of knee-length dresses was impeccably done in a way that accented the models’ bodies. Other favorite pieces included an open-back jumpsuit with sheer bits in all the right places, a flowy mid-calf chiffon skirt with gold beaded detailing, and a cape fashioned out of lush, layered leather leaves. Adding to the feminine, refined vibe were briefcase-like handbags and gold leaf earrings.
We sat down for a chat with the up-and-coming designer to chat about Israeli pride, stealing from a rabbi, and why she got into designing in the first place.
Why the name “Pas Pour Toi”?
“Pas Pour Toi” in French means “Not For You”, and it’s because a lot of people over the years want to know what I’m wearing. They can come to my house, open the doors of my closet, and take whatever they want — and I could kill them. I always say, “It’s not for you, leave it alone.” It’s pas pour toi. It’s a joke.
A lot of celebrities have started designing clothing lines. Why did you decide to start?
Because no one could give me what I wanted. All my life I’m looking for something that doesn’t exist. Since I was young, I’ve adored fashion, I think it’s art, and I really appreciate everything. But there was a time when I stopped liking it because all the time I found myself looking for something that I had in my imagination. So I’d find something and say, “Okay, this is close enough, but maybe if the sleeve was like this.” And so I would change it. I started to buy clothes and change them. And then I decided that I need to do this for myself and Israel.
You sell your clothes overseas in places like Greece, Italy, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Why Israel?
One of the things that’s really important for me is I want to stay an Israeli designer. Everyone knows that fashion is in Milan and Paris, London, but I really want to be known as an Israeli designer. I’m really excited because when I decided to do the show, no one in Israel had seen my clothes.
What kind of woman do you see wearing your clothes?
Everybody knows you cannot buy style. You can have a lot of money and buy whatever you want, but you cannot buy style. This is one thing you cannot buy, and I know that even out of the country when I’m not seeing who’s going to buy it, I know exactly who the woman is. Because you have to be really larger than life with so much personality to wear Pas Pour Toi — a strong woman that has something to say. She knows who she is. She’s not a child anymore. She has experience, she’s an artist. I would love to know that chic young girls that admire fashion would save money — steal money like I used to do — and will buy my clothes!
Your collection is so detailed, and the embroidery is immaculate. Did you create this all in Israel?
Yes. My studio is in Israel, and my fabrics are from Italy, with a lot of handmade craftwork I designed as well. The embroidery is inspired by one of the biggest rabbis in Israel. His name is Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. I found the guy who did his embroidery — it’s a mini place that creates all his clothing, and I have them doing mine now!
Photos courtesy of Avi Valdman