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Yemen, My Clothes & I

Yemen, My Clothes & I

Do you know how every designer has her own inspiration? That thing that guides her when she creates new collections? Every designer draws her inspiration from a different place, and even if she has 10 collections with 10 different “stories” you will still be able to recognize her fingerprint

I feel like I haven’t found yet my fingerprint, that thing that says “Made by Shani Segev”

But there’s one thing that guides me since I started my brand and I try to continue developing with every collection I create- that’s my inspiration from Yemen.

My whole life I heard stories from my grandparents about what it was like living in Yemen, the Yemeni music was and still is an important part of my life, not to mention the great Yemeni food…

But one thing was missing from their stories- the clothes! I had no idea what they used to wear in Yemen. So yes, when we had a Hena ceremony, we “dressed up” and had a glimpse of Yemeni clothes. But I didn’t know what they wore, what was the difference between men and women outfits, what they wore in their day-to-day lives.

 Yemeni Hena Ceremony

My mother in her Hena Ceremony


The first thing that was clear to me when I decided to start working on my line, was that Yemen will be my inspiration. To me, it was a great opportunity to start learning and investigate that part of my heritage

So, what did they wear? Dresses!

There was a difference between the men and women dresses, and there were different dresses for different occasions, different styles for different geographical areas.

Embroidered Women's Dress

 The photo was taken from the book Ma'ase Rokem-Dress and Jewelry In The Tradition of The Jews of Yemen


But they all had one thing in common- they were all BIG! Perfect for the Yemeni or Israeli weather!

The first item I designed for my first collection was a shirt (called Anat shirt) while working on the pattern for the shirt I realized I can easily turn it into a dress. So how did Yemeni style influence their design?

As I was reading about Yemeni outfits I noticed some have them have a triangle connecting the sleeve to the body of the dress. I’m still not sure what was the role of that triangle, but I decided that it would be a good idea to integrate it with the sleeve and use the lines it creates to create longitude lines that flatter everyone

The top image is a sketch of one of the dress's patterns, the bottom image is one of the first sketches I made while I was working on the pattern:

The sketches  


The left image is Noya dress, the right image is Anat top. In both pictures, you can see the side panel that connects to the sleeve:

The items


To be continued….

  • Post author
    Shani Segev

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