Taking inspiration from the world around him and adding his own whimsical twist, Maor Zabar's millinery marvels are an absolute visual treat. His most recent collection "Carnivorous Plants" traveled to the other side of the world to be showcased in a New York which has lead to many other opportunities for this talented milliner from Israel. As you can see Maor has utilised both new and traditional millinery techniques to construct this incredible oversized Rafflesia flower using raw silk. Here we chat with Maor and find out a little more about the collection and why he loves millinery so much.
What do you love most about millinery?
For me, millinery is a cross between the world of fashion and the world of art. I love the fact that I can create a sculptured work of art and it can still be worn by someone as a fashion statement.
How did you get into millinery?
I studied fashion design in Shenkar and I have worked as a costume designer for the past 12 years. Ever since I can remember, I have been attracted to head wear and was always looking for excuses to incorporate hats or other headpieces as part of my designs, both as a student and costume designer. Eventually a few years ago, I got the chance to learn proper millinery and this was the beginning of my journey as a professional milliner.
In a sentence tell us how you would describe your designs.
My designs are always different and it is hard to describe them in one sentence. Each collection is unique, made from deferent materials and techniques. What seems to be common ground in my designs is that I always use colour and lots of it. I am a "colour person" and colour is a huge part of my life. My designs are usually packed with sense of humour, I like that my creations are not too serious. They are fun and whimsical, just like me.
We saw that you recently went on a trip to New York, tell us a little about that.
I went to N.Y to showcase my Carnivorous Plants collection in the millinery store - "East Village Hats" and it was a lot of fun. I got to meet new people, make some connections and do some fashion photoshoots with my hats. While there, I bought tons of materials and even sold a few items. Today the collection is still on display in the store for anyone who is interested and in October we are going to fly back to N.Y with a new collection to showcase and to teach a workshop.
What inspires you?
My work as a costume designer in theatre is a big part of my inspirations. I borrow ideas and inspirations from the stage, the plays and my own costume designs. Things and situations that I stumble across in my everyday life and in my trips can often intrigued research that leads me to create a new collection. Interesting materials and new techniques I discover also push me to create new pieces that often becomes a whole collection.
If you could invite any milliner to tea who would it be?
Probably Stephen Jones or Piers Atkinson.
What is your favourite material to work with?
I enjoy working with a variety of materials and I am always looking for new materials and techniques. I love wool felt, because it sculpts brilliantly. I love buckram, because it allows me to create 3D shapes rather easily. I love working with raw silk, it has such great stiffening qualities and I have developed my own techniques on how to sculpt with it.
Whats your best millinery tip?
Stay true to you own style! Do not fear braking the boundaries of what is familiar and safe and always have fun in the process.
What has been the biggest challenge you face in millinery and how do you over come it?
Raw materials for millinery are hard to obtain in Israel, so I keep looking for new materials or new techniques that do not need the use of the conventional materials. Nowadays I am working with digital printings on a variety of fabrics after creating the patterns of the designs myself. It is a very interesting process and a lot of fun.
Like raw materials, millinery consumers are in scarce in Israel. All the big millinery communities are far away in either England, U.S.A or even Australia , so I have to work harder in order to reach my customers and to be noticed by the media.
Famous words to live by.
When people ask me, what it is that I do for living, I answer "I do not work for living, I have fun!"
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