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Galya Rosenfeld: Profile of a local designer

By Nicole Nardozi

Our meeting at the 69a Gallery in the Mission was not the first time I met fashion designer Galya Rosenfeld. Only a few weeks before, I volunteered as a stylist for Galya's fashion show at 111 Minna Gallery. No, I was not spying. Just doing some research. Surprisingly, Galya was not upset with me when I blew my cover and requested an interview. The clothes and accessories from her fashion show were going to be displayed at 69a Gallery the following week, so we met there. As I looked around, I recognized some of the pieces from the show but most were ones I hadn't seen before.

Fusing fashion with art, Galya Rosenfeld provides an alternative to the commercial, look-alike styles of today with clothing and accessories that are both conceptual and dynamic, without sacrificing functionality. Each "series," or design technique, is "a one-of-a-kind that keeps evolving." For example, Galya's Modular design series is created by folding swatches of fabric into one another. There is no sewing involved. This affords one the option of removing and adding pieces, potentially altering the look of the piece completely, or just a bit. "I like to create objects that leave the person the ability to change. You can change it, but there's something that remains the same."

Another of Galya's clothing design series, called Portraits, consists of magnets attached in various areas of a piece that allows one to bunch or stretch the material in endless ways. "I wanted these pieces to reflect what my actual sketches looked like. The lines, the movement - someone can wear it and 'sketch in space,' or continue that composition in space."

Galya's concepts are inspired from her schooling at Bezalel School of Art & Design in Jerusalem, where her focus on jewelry, clothing and object design was conceptual in focus, as opposed to the more business-oriented art schools with a specialty in marketing. At Bezalel, design is "more about the garment than the image you're creating." Inspirations come from materials. "What can I do with this material that's different? What potential does it have that hasn't been utilized? People sometimes feel like they have to know how to do something, 'Knowledge is power,' but not knowing is also very powerful."

Why should fashion be important to us? Galya believes that it's one of the quickest indicators of where we're at, as a society and as people. "It's really an important part of our communication. It affects the way we feel about ourselves - our comfort level, our confidence." In her opinion, it's really hard to convey those ideas through other art forms.

"If you believe in your work honestly and truly, other people will find it interesting as well," advises Galya. "When it comes to design, that's where you put your belief. If it doesn't work out, at least you've created something you believe in and that's the bottom line."

Galya Rosenfeld's designs will be on display at 69a Gallery (69a Duboce Ave.) until June 28th. For more information about Galya Rosenfeld, visit her website at galyarosenfeld.com.