The High-Fashion Designer Harnessing Technology as an Art Form

Each fashion season, marks the turning point where designers display their newest conceptions that allow purveyors to witness fashion conceived in an entirely fresh new way that may have seemed unfathomable to create. This new era of expressionism is being ushered in with designers like, Noa Raviv who seek to bring forth creativity in its purest, most authentic form. By exploring the depths of her mind, without placing confines or limitations, Raviv’s imagination has allowed her strikingly visual and technical savvy designs to soar.

Read the exclusive interview with Noa Raviv and uncover the complexities of fashion’s burgeoning designer.


SPEARR: Describe the first instance you knew you wanted to be a fashion designer.

Noa Raviv: When I was 19-years-old I traveled to New York City with my mom and we visited The Met to see the Paul Poiret exhibition. At the time I wanted to be an artist and was [in the process of applying] to an art school.

When I was a child I had a strong interest in fashion and clothing but I [didn’t find it to be] as serious and deep as [creating] art was. [Being able to witness] fashion in a museum for the first time really opened my mind and made me rethink about [fashion design] in a completely new way. The visit [to the Met opened my eyes] and I think it [played] a big part in my decision to become a fashion designer.


SPEARR: Where were you born and how has that influenced you?

Noa Raviv: I grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel—which is the best city in the world, it truly is. Those who have had the chance to spend some time in Tel Aviv understand the uniqueness and complexity of that place. The mix between beautiful and ugly, old and new, its intensity and peacefulness are really what make the city so special.

I’m sure [the city] had an impact on my formation [as a fashion designer]. Those same tensions exist in my work too—there is a sense of harmony and chaos, order and mess, ugly and beautiful and combined [these components] are apart of my work [as a designer] in a way.


SPEARR: Where did you attend school and how has that shaped your perspective or allowed you to grow?

Noa Raviv: I studied [school] at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, which is in my hometown, Tel Aviv, Israel. The college is relatively small, but [academics there are extremely challenging]. The school is known for art design and engineering and [for those who attend] it provides you with [a new perspective and a strong sense of discipline], just from witnessing [the level at which other students perform at]. It also happens to be the same school where Alber Elbaz and Nili Lotan studied as well.


SPEARR: Your designs appear as though they have a 3-D component and are stunning to witness. Describe the design process when creating a collection.

Noa Raviv: Most pieces in the collection are not 3-D printed, but I do use 3-D software [programs] very often in order to create graphics or think about new shapes and forms. My design process usually starts with material exploration, from there I sketch and use computer programs to [help] visualize the garments and see how can I push the boundaries [of my designs] one step further.


SPEARR: Each look from your SS17 collection possessed a profound sense of beauty and highlighted your technical skills in a myriad of ways. What was the message or story behind the development and evolution of your spring collection?

Noa Raviv: [For my Spring ’17 collection] the process of creating [or devising the collection] became the real work in the collection I called, ‘Off-Line’. Those ‘behind the scenes’ components, which are often meant to remain discreet and reserved, evolved as an inseparable part of the work.

My Fall ‘16 collection, ‘Hard Copy’ received exposure [when it was on display] at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s, Manus X Machina exhibit and it was inspired by computer glitches and digital errors—while my spring collection explored the more intimate and less rational part of the design process.

For me, my sketchbook often serves as a safe and private zone. It is a place where weird thoughts, mistakes and uncertainties can be explored freely. There they remain personal, not yet subject to outside judgment. [My] sketchbook pages are a space where blurred and distorted lines can be created, freed from demands of perfection or completion. It is the space where the hand can be shaky, affording every idea the potential to become the most fantastic garment or a scrap in the trash bin.


SPEARR: How did it feel when you heard the news that you would be featured in the “Manus x Machina” exhibit at the Met?

Noa Raviv: It was extremely overwhelming! I am really thankful to Andrew Bolton, Anna Wintour and the entire team at The Met for including my work in this exhibition. I literally have no words to express the gratitude I feel. It was such a huge honor to have my work [showcased] next to the works of some of the greatest fashion icons of our time. It really felt like a dream.


SPEARR: Has technology influenced the way you design or approach designing?

Noa Raviv: All the time. For me, computer tools can expand my possibilities and options as a designer and even more importantly; they expand the boundaries of my imagination.


SPEARR: What are you hoping to achieve with each design and finished product?

Noa Raviv: I hope to evoke thought and create a meaningful object.



Photos Courtesy of: Noa Raviv 

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