According to the Jewish biblical law, it is prohibited for a Jewish person to wear “Shatnez”, meaning a fabric or a garment combining both wool and linen materials. The law forbids the interbreeding of different species of animals, and the planting together of different kinds of seeds, collectively known as Kil’ayim1 – (Hebrew for Hybrid), are the prohibitions in Jewish law about planting certain mixtures of seeds, grafting, mixtures of plants in vineyards.
In the ultra-Orthodox garb, a belt named Gartel (the Gartel is a belt used by Jewish males, predominantly (but not exclusively) Hasidim, during prayer. “Gartel” is Yiddish for “belt”) is tied to the waist in a way that divides the body into two parts: The lower part, referred to as the material part, where the organs responsible for procreation are located. The upper part, considered as the spiritual part, where the head, mind and brain are located, the organs vital for Torah study and Mitzvah (In its primary meaning, the Hebrew word mitzvah refers to precepts and commandments commanded by God.) Hasidic custom requires that there be a physical separation between the heart and the genitalia during any mention of God’s name. It is commonly explained that separating the upper and lower parts of the body manifests a control of the animal instincts of the person by the distinctly human intellect.
The upcoming Fall/Winter 2019, Nargassi continues to explore different Jewish aspects, focusing now on elements & details in garments worn by Jewish orthodox groups. In the collection, Nargassi created belts that were inspired by the Gartel and combined them with woolen threads in Tzitzit (are specially knotted ritual fringes, or tassels, worn in antiquity by Israelites and today by observant Jews and Samaritans) – like ties and the Jewish prayer shawl.
This collection follows the line identified with the Brand’s hand-writing, contrasting and raising questions. On the one hand – conservative, religious, Jewish, rooted, & Israeli. On the other hand, by combining Wool & Linen together – Nargassi goes against the Jewish law and one of the traditions that even nowadays are still closely observed. It is cynical to think how something that is so rationally minor and not visible makes wearing this garment forbidden.