“And the Lord God made garments of skins (the word ohr with the Hebrew letter “ayin”) for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21) In the teachings of Rabbi Meir, it was written “garments of light” (the word ohr with the Hebrew letter “aleph”), these were the clothes of the first man that are similar to a common rue (type of plant), wide on the bottom and narrow on the top.” Rabbi Yitzhak Rabia says, “They were smooth as nails and pretty as pearls…”(Bereishit Raba 20:12). Rashi writes: “They were similar to a torch. Illuminating like an oil lamp and affixed as garments. Wide on the bottom and narrow on the top.”
To us as designers, the phrase, “garments of light” is attractive and fascinating yet, at the same time, unclear, a contradiction in terms. The word “garment” implies cloth, a cover enveloping, a sensation on the body, on the skin. Light implies the opposite. Fleeting, not covering, but illuminating and revealing, transforming and certainly not clothed. “Garments of skins” awakens associations with time, place and lifestyle. Replacing the first letter of the Hebrew word for skin, “ayin” with the Hebrew letter “aleph”, results in the Hebrew word for light - ohr. Replacing this one letter creates a new phrase, the complete opposite of its predecessor, spiritual and undressed versus the actual covering of skin.
The concept of “garments of light” makes us think: Who wore garments made of light? How would a person wearing such a garment look? We began to work with fabrics. We looked for a cloth that could actively incorporate light into the garment. The fabric was handwoven by Gali; the warp was cotton threads and the weft was copper threads.
Copper, more than any other thread, succeeds in capturing and reflecting light. The stiffness of the copper enables the creation of a frame that allows light to enter. We burned an imprint of a dress on the fabric – the outline for a garment of light. The copper threads sealed the fabric and reflected the glittery light. Light passed through the burnt sections of the fabric and created an image of a garment of light
From each fabric, we had two garments. The first garment was the burnt-out fabric and the second garment was cast on the wall. A series of three outlines for garments of light were submitted. We continued to think about the person who wore “garments of light” and about an existence that is flashing, charging, completely dependent on an outside source; an existence that illuminates itself and its surroundings, that is undressed and incomplete. Existence that is the complete opposite of our own existence – the wearers of garments of skin.