SOURCE: VOGUE. COM
BY: LIANA SATENSTEIN
Hazar Jawabra’s designs are a knitwear fairy tale, a Where the Wild Things Are–style translation of unrestrained, blindingly colorful stitches. In one image from a look book, a man, swimming in a kaleidoscope of crochet, poses in an old Palestinian home that has been turned into a hostel. It’s almost as if he resembles a tree of yarn with bits of fabric branching out and growing from him: The tunic top boasts voluminous sleeves of reds, yellows, and oranges with the bottom of the garment reaching his knees. His face is covered by a mask of yarn, and in lieu of a beard, there are beaded strings hanging from his chin. In another image, a man wears a full look made of knit tubes in red, blue, orange, and fuchsia. If you look quickly, it appears as if a candle has melted and its wax has streamed down his body.
Jawabra, 23, who is Palestinian and is originally from the town of Umm El Fahem (near Haifa, Israel) and now resides in Jerusalem, was trained by her grandmother who used traditional Palestinian imagery in her designs. “I’ve worked with knitting as a traditional technique,” she tells Vogue. “Knitting in my family has been a lifelong tradition that passes from one generation to another.” Eventually, Jawabra enrolled in Jerusalem’s Bezalel College of Arts and Design, where she took knitting courses and recently graduated. “I loved it because it reminded me of home. Knitting is a tradition that passes from one generation to another in my family,” she says. “My decision was also affected by knowing that handmade crafts are slowly declining, but I wanted to revive it and initiate it once again in my work.” In some pieces, Jawabra uses her grandmother’s patterns, or imagery from a kaffiyeh, a traditional Arabic headgear worn by men.