Hasidic Chic


For New York Fashion Week back in 1993, designer Jean-Paul Gaultier became–according to the New York Times–“the first major designer to use Judaism as an inspiration.”

In his show, models dressed in long black coats, high boots, and stockings–and tight, body-covering dresses. Some models bound their hair in kerchiefs; others wore long sidecurls. One walked the runway carrying what appeared to be a havdalah candle.

The show was generally regarded as provocative, but not incendiary. “As a Jewish-American princess, I wasn’t offended at all,” the fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman told the Times.

Apparently, everything old does become new again. Designer Levi Okunow, who was raised a Lubavitch Hasid, often uses a tallit and other Jewish objects in his ensembles. Andre 3000 of the band OutKast was rumored to be influenced by the same Hasidic fashion when designing his couture line. And Saint Bessarion‘s new fall-winter collection also features models wearing black hats and long sidelocks…and little else.

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