LONDON — Dodo Bar Or, the buzzy Tel-Aviv based label, is maturing into a fully fledged lifestyle brand with a collaboration with the famous private members’ club Annabel’s; major retail partners across the globe, and a growing vacation-wear collection that’s popular in Instagram.
Started by the Tel Aviv-based designer Dodo Bar Or five years ago, the brand first gained traction for its Middle Eastern-inspired embroidered resortwear. It has since added ready-to-wear to the mix, including more minimalist leather pieces and embellished evening dresses. The resort business, meanwhile, has taken on a life of its own, with glamorous caftans and swimwear in vintage floral prints among Bar Or’s greatest hits.
Her collection of floral, high-waisted bikinis and loose cotton dresses was among the most prominent in the edits of e-tailers like Net-a-porter, Matchesfashion.com and Mytheresa while influencers galore posed in them throughout the last summer.
Now, the designer is ready to dial up the nostalgic glamour, with a new resort collection launching later this month that includes even more vintage florals and a bigger lifestyle proposition; from towels, to umbrellas, beach bags on wheels and matching children’s wear — another Instagram-fuelled trend that Bar Or, who is a mother of two and used her daughters as models for her latest look book, was quick to jump on.
“I’ve always been inspired by vacation, but now we took it to a different level and looked at icons like Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor, who always celebrated freedom and being a woman,” said the designer, who wants to build on the positive response she received from her charming, vintage-inspired capsule and create a real lifestyle around those prints and the old-school glamour they represent.
She also incorporated some of the softer, pastel hues of the prints onto leather separates from her main line collection and paired them with knitted body suits and lingerie — another growing category for the brand.
“I told myself to go back to what I stand for and combined all the different elements of the brand. There are clean lines, simple solid pieces, the colors from the vintage pieces reflect on the leather, it ended up looking edgy and cool and very close to me,” said the designer, who in the past wasn’t always sure of how to marry the different parts of her collection.
The answer came in fully embracing both sides, because the same woman who might want to wear minimalist leather in the city, might want to channel Bardot and wear loud florals on holiday.
“It could get confusing because there’s different buyers for different parts of the collection and they’re placed on different floors. But I decided to keep everything under the same name, people were just starting to get to know the name Dodo, so I didn’t want to lose momentum.”
“Who can say this is not the same woman? It is the same woman. We just need to understand that there are so many characters in each of us that we choose to bring out depending on the occasion,” said Bar Or, who is a former actress and naturally loves nothing more than creating stories and characters.
She transitioned to fashion because she wanted to be more in charge of the full script: “Now I can do it all, when I start to create a collection it feels like an entire play. I’m playing all the parts, I’m picking the music, the setting and telling the story in my own words.”
Bar Or also got the chance to channel a new personality with her latest collaboration with the famous private members’ club Annabel’s in London, which approached her to create an exclusive capsule for its members.
She took inspiration from the opulent interiors of the club, in particular its jungle-print wallpaper by artist Paul Clifford and worked into silk dresses, pareos, caftans and swimwear.
Net-a-Porter also came on board and will launch the collection globally later this month, in time for the holidays. According to Elizabeth von der Goltz, the collection stood out for its Seventies feel, “which offers the perfect escapism for the holiday season.”