"We wanted to create a new world that was ours, one that does not define you by where you were born," says Adi of threeASFOUR. The fashion designers in our first Community profile are the paragon of plurality in their very union -- Adi (an Israeli), Angela (who was born in Russia and grew up in Germany), and Gabi (a Palestinian who grew up in Lebanon). Angela and Adi became close while at school in Munich and then found love with Gabi in New York City during the 90s. The Big Apple is a place they consider to be a utopia for the relatively peaceful coexistence of humanity's greatest melting pot.
"When we met each other, we felt that we were all from the same planet with the same origins, goals, and dreams," says Angela. According to Gabi, "A creative energy was born out of having come from very conflicting places." For Gabi, that meant growing up among senseless wars between Muslims and Christians, as well as having Palestinian parents who resented being displaced by Israel. For Adi, it was being brought up in Herzliya by grandparents who survived Auschwitz, lost their whole families in WW2, and then moved to Germany at 15. Lastly, there's Angela, whose family lived in Tajikistan and Germany, receiving scorn in both places (in the former for being too German and in the latter for not being German enough). But Angela, Adi and Gabi tore apart the default prejudices of their roots and began what has now been a 15-year tireless mission for world peace via couture fashion. Instead of complaining about their past grievances, Gabi says that threeASFOUR "is united to do something about it."
In an ever-increasing mediocrity of thoughtless designer T-shirts passing as fashion, the three artists have insulated themselves in a bubble through thick and thin, unbreakable in their belief that clothing design that has a higher intention than making money can positively impact mankind. "The world does not need just another dress," says Adi. "But if we do something with a meaning and message behind it, and we use it as a tool to bring people together and express our feelings," then a piece of clothing can be "a dream come true."
In the wisdom of indigenous cultures, Gabi feels that he and "his girls" are "healing themselves from all the shit they have been through." Their clothing designs are based on the spirals, vortexes, and circles inherent in Sacred Geometry, a philosophy of oneness that predates religion and man-made differences. Essentially, the silhouettes explore humanity and its relationship to nature, the universe, the galaxy, and other species. If you unraveled each jacket, dress, or trouser, you'd find a foundation that's not steeped in traditional, boxy tailoring, but in the variation on the circular, which is mirrored in the shapes of the body, earth, nature, the universe, and the galaxy. Imperative to threeASFOUR'S passion is unveiling the underlying harmony of the world, and, if you dissect the mosaics and tiling in the structures of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and all spiritualities, you will find the same ancient configurations that comprise the tenants of sacred geometry.
We were especially thrilled to be able to talk to threeASFOUR about what's behind this year's collection, which recently debuted at the Jewish Museum. The show corresponds to their two-month long exhibit, MER (light) KA (spirit) BA (body), where a dazzling, pyramid/spaceship-like structure that uses the essential shapes of sacred geometry sits like a glowing temple in a dark room. The triangular, mirrored structure was built by architect Christian Wassmann and is bordered by the designers' intricately structured garments, clothes that would make you feel like a benevolent queen for all of time and space in their methodical integrity.
Illuminating the contrast between his collaborative message and the extremities of war, greed, and suffering in 2013, Gabi declared, "I think this is the most amazing time that humanity has ever gone through. It's growing from a teenager to an adult. The truth will prevail no matter what. The lie is necessary to understand that truth." As Adi confesses, "The thing that drives us to promote global peace is creativity. If that stops, we will stop."
Elisa & Lily
threeASFOUR's video was edited by Shane O'Neill
Music by Raz Mesinai
For more on threeASFOUR, read our post Fashion as Art: Why threeASFOUR Will Never Sell T-shirts.