Israel’s first main costume drama collection, “The Magnificence Queen of Jerusalem,” was to be shot in Kiev in early 2020, when the pandemic closed the borders.
It felt like a blow, blocking probably the most formidable, high-budget native productions up to now.
So the lockdown supplied some sudden advantages. The streets of Jerusalem, Acre and Safed have been emptied of their regular hustle and bustle and have develop into excellent movie places.
The historic American Colony Resort, which might often be off limits to visitors, allowed filming of their trendy bar and leafy courtyard. And a scene from a dance celebration was filmed in a closed museum because of the pandemic.
Moreover, internationally acclaimed Israeli actors Michael Aloni (“Shtisel”), Hila Saada (“Magnificence and the Baker”) and Itzik Cohen (“Fauda”) all of a sudden had extra flexibility of their schedules.
However the native shoot did not appear to be of any profit to Liron Cohen, costume designer within the huge household saga.
He needed to frantically search out new sources for the wardrobe of multigenerational characters, dwelling within the interval when Jerusalem was a part of the Ottoman Empire, by means of the British Mandate and Israel’s Warfare of Independence.
“In Kiev it was all established that I might have entry to a well-established and big costume archive to copy fashions from 1919 to the Nineteen Forties. The studio additionally had the advantage of a storage facility to retailer the hundreds of units of garments wanted to decorate 40 important characters and lots of, many extras. “
Graduated in style design from the WIZO College of Design in Haifa, with 10 years of labor expertise in tv and movie productions, Cohen found throughout her historic analysis what a crucible of Jerusalem was within the first half of the Twentiesth century.
“It was a society made up of a variety of ethnic and social teams who spoke many languages: Hebrew, Ladin, Arabic, English and Turkish. Every group had their very own distinct type of clothes constructed from totally different materials and quite a lot of equipment, ”he says.
“Some immigrants have even reworked into their new homeland, modifying heavy woolen garments to go well with the nice and cozy local weather they’re in now.”
A captivating discovery
“The Magnificence Queen of Jerusalem”, based mostly on Sarit Yishai-Levy’s 2015 worldwide bestseller, consists of all of those totally different teams.
The central household are the Hispano-Jewish Ermozas. Rochel (Yuval Scharf), Gabriel Ermoza’s (Michael Aloni) unattainable love curiosity, belongs to the close-knit Ashkenazi Orthodox group.
There are additionally fighters from the Irgun (the Zionist paramilitary group), Arabs and whoever is in energy on the time, Turkish or British.
Cohen says what initially appeared like an amazing job has changed into an interesting discovery.
“The magic actually began when I discovered the classic group in Israel. There are lots of folks right here of all ages, women and men, who gather and retailer classic clothes. We began going from place to put and individual to individual to gather and purchase. “
Virtually all the garments and sneakers within the collection are authentic from the Twenties, 30s and 40s. Cohen says she was fortunate sufficient to find classic shops like By Kilo in Tel Aviv, Golda in Herzliya and the net web site Betty in Classic Land.
Different finds, he says, had been made throughout actual property gross sales and by non-public collectors. Cohen additionally raves in regards to the one-of-a-kind wedding ceremony gown with 19th embroidery of the century that he discovered for the character Rosa (Hila Saada) within the studio of the designer duo Reuma and Yoel, who gather classic materials to include into their creations.
Hasidim and British officers
There was no want to look very onerous for the costumes of the strictly devoted Ashkenazi characters within the collection as members of the Toldot Aharon group nonetheless put on the identical black and white striped clothes to at the present time.
British Mandate Officers’ costumes had been additionally straightforward to acquire as an organization in England specialised in traditionally right reproductions of navy uniforms.
Along with utilizing the costumes to emphasise the time interval, they’re additionally necessary in constructing the persona of the character, and for this Cohen needed to work strictly in accordance with the directions of the director, Oded Davidoff and the screenwriters Shlomo Mashiach and Esther Namdar Tamam.
Within the case of the younger and sensual magnificence Luna Ermoza (performed by newcomer Swell Ariel Or) “we put her in revealing attire that present her cleavage with the intention to emphasize her free, attractive and flirtatious persona”.
Characters are additionally used to point out the passage of time. “I selected the character of Rosa to point out how girls’s fashions evolve. For instance, within the episodes that happen within the Twenties, her garments have a low rise and are fairly shapeless. Within the Nineteen Thirties, her attire have a extra outlined waistline and skirts come to the knee ”.
Unique and silky
Of all of the characters, Lebanese stomach dancer Aishi (Luna Mansour) is Cohen’s favourite.
“I like Aisha for her feminist views. She makes use of her sturdy instinct and intelligence to navigate the masculine setting wherein she lives. She is aware of the way to play, ”Cohen says.
“Her garments come from a wider world than Rosa Ermoza, who’s a housewife, and her neighbor, Victoria Franco [Mali Levy], which takes folks’s laundry. Aisha wears daring jewellery from India and extra unique and silky materials.
Cohen, who has a Moroccan mom and a Polish father, will not be the one one to have fallen in love with the characters and been swept away in a Jerusalem of different years.
“The whole forged and crew had been intently linked to at least one or the opposite group portrayed within the collection. Everybody had a second the place they mentioned it reminded them of their grandparents, their historical past or one thing nostalgic, ”she tells ISRAEL21c.
“For me, although, it is the clothes that was like a beating coronary heart, that gave life to every part,” says the gifted costume designer.