The elected beauty queens of 1950 looking at a billboard in Tel Aviv.(Government Press Office, NPC, D410-022; photo by Hans Pinn)

Last year’s Israeli Fashion Week was held against the backdrop of social protests about the rising cost of living in Israel. As Ruth Margalit reports, this made for a division typical of Israel since its founding.

This sartorial dissonance between restraint and extravagance was again on display last year when Tel Aviv held its first Fashion Week in more than 30 years—just as its streets were taken over by a wave of social protests. In the same breath that Israeli newspapers now covered the public’s outcry against the rising cost of housing and staple foods, they exalted the presence of Roberto Cavalli as Tel Aviv Fashion Week’s guest of honor and basked in a photogenic sea of sequins and stilettos. Despite Israelis’ newly discovered revolutionary spirit, it seemed, we still needed assurance that we are on the cosmopolitan map.

Check it out here.