Evoking the feeling of a grimy, punky nightclub at 10 a.m. on a bright Sunday morning isn’t easy, but it turns out a pair of patent leather chaps can go a long way toward transforming the vibe of a space. Presented against a video of teens moshing while Vince Staples and Yugen Blakrok’s booming track from the “Black Panther” soundtrack, “Opps,” played overhead, Israeli designer Alon Livné’s tough, S&M-friendly Fall 2018 collection, chaps and all, was an audacious start to Tel Aviv Fashion Week. It also demonstrated why he is a breakout talent from the city’s fashion scene deserving of a showcase slot on the calendar.

Inspired by a pool of references that includes Tom of Finland fetish gear, David Bowie and early 90’s dance music — “‘Pump Up the Jam’ times,” Livné called it backstage — the collection this season was based heavily in leather, accented with sequins, suede and ample decorative piercings on both the clothing and the models. Many of the pieces — tops, coats and dresses, among them — featured strategically placed cut-outs of clear plastic. Others, fully made from clear plastic, were worn with strategically placed pasties. Sunday morning may mark the beginning of the work week in Israel, but Livné was here to party.

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Vijay Nanda

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