Like many successful creative entrepreneurs, Israel-based costume designer
Her next step presented itself shortly thereafter when Inbal attended a fashion show at a local costume design school. “It was love at first sight,” she recalls. “I enrolled and studied there for three years. It provided me with opportunities to design for opera, theater, and dance, and I discovered a fascinating world I simply loved.”
Today, Inbal channels the skills she honed creating costumes for the stage into sewing her charming line of handmade,
Read on to learn about the “Grandma Test” and Inbal’s big celebrity fan—and
Yes. On my birthdays as a child, my mom would sew special themed outfits I’d dream up just for the day. I used to come up with some crazy ideas—my costume choices were not always conventional, to say the least. I remember one year I chose a magician’s silver suit, with a shiny tuxedo and an undershirt with an embroidered bow tie! My mom made it all happen.
You have some
Absolutely. For my first collection, I imagined myself wearing an apron with my daughter, who was three years old at the time. I used embroideries I had collected over the years, mixing old, new, and recycled fabrics. One of the aprons featured the nesting doll
Last year the actress
I’ve learned that people celebrate festivals and carnivals all over the world in costume, and many local traditions include dressing up. In many places, costumes are also worn at home. For example, a child might celebrate their birthday at a circus party, dressed as a clown, or with a jungle party, and be dressed as a tiger. But dressing up doesn’t require any special occasion. You can be a princess anytime you want—on your birthday, on the weekend, whenever.
Are you noticing any new
I truly don’t pay attention to trends. When choosing a new character to design, I put it through the “Grandma Test.” I ask myself: Would my grandmother know this character? If the answer is yes, the character can join the collection. But my real bosses are my kids. Every year during
What are some of your most popular pieces?
Over the past year, the
I notice that buyers can purchase single pieces, such as hats, or entire
I enjoy interpreting a character as a whole and creating a complete look, but I will always allow my customers to choose whether they want a full costume or just part of one. My hats are unique and sometimes wearing them with a
Some of your
I believe kids should stay kids for as long as possible and enjoy their time to be naive and childlike. That’s why I focus on fairytale and nature-inspired characters. The twist comes from my process of creating. I try to convey the true essence of the animal or the character, and not just its appearance.
For example, my tailored animal costumes are my own interpretations of the fairytale world. The
Tell us about your materials—you mention that they are “all natural.”
I prefer timeless fabrics like cotton and linen, and I like to choose fabrics that reflect the character or the animal I am designing. That’s why I prefer single-color, patternless, natural fabrics. The pattern is created through the design.
What sets a handmade costume apart?
Quality sewing requires time and patience. I make my choices the way a mother would, and consider every little detail. Sewing linings takes a lot of time, but I won’t compromise the kids’ comfort. My daughter, Rona, is extremely sensitive to textiles. If she doesn’t like the feeling of a fabric against her skin, I’ll add another layer of cotton lining to keep it feeling soft and natural. I want to show other families the same consideration and take the same care with their
What would you like to do next as a designer?
I want to expand
Karen Brown is an award-winning designer and creative director of the