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Exclusive: an interview with Sharon Saber, the in-house designer of "Galia Lahav", who dressed J. Lo in her last film - voila! Fashion


We sat down for a fascinating conversation with Sharon Saber, the chief designer of the Galia Lahav fashion house, who are responsible for Jennifer Lopez's iconic dress

For the first time and exclusively at Vala!

Fashion: an interview of J. Lo, Sharon Saber, the designer of the house in Galia Lahav, and Mitchell Travers, the costume designer of the film (amazon)

He is from Tel Aviv, married to his partner for over twenty years.

He has known Galia Lahav, a fashion designer and owner of a haute couture fashion house that bears her name, for 40+ years, since she was his teacher at school.

It is notable that Sharon Saber's path into the fashion house was paved already from his youth.

During high school he lived next door to Lahav's twin sister, who was a painter, and was connected there to the whole family who recognized the spark and potential in him, and actually nurtured him.

"Immediately after the army, my mother 'flew' me to Paris," he says, "which was not at all customary at that time and for a young man from the suburbs. As soon as I returned from Paris in 1996, Galia offered me a job, and the rest is history."

Fast forward to the present day, and in the last two years, in addition to his extensive ongoing work as the chief designer of the "Galia Lahav" fashion house, Sharon Saber (52 years old) has been completely occupied with a huge transcontinental project.

In close collaboration with costume designer Mitchell Travers, for the new action comedy "Shotgun Wedding"

(Which in our regions is mysteriously translated as "Fire Wedding!"), they created the custom wedding dress for the character of Jennifer Lopez (Darcy).

The film is actually already showing in Israeli cinemas from the end of December 2022, when last weekend (27/01) it was streamed for viewing on Prime Video.

Sharon Saber, the home designer of "Galia Lahav" for about 30 years (Photo: Public Relations)

Beyond the flagship store in Tel Aviv, the "Galia Lahav" fashion house has 4 other flagship stores in the world - New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Shanghai.

In addition, the collections are also presented in retail stores around the world that carry lines from the top of the top, Mora Wong and Elie Saab.

In the past three decades, Galia Lahav has established its position as one of the leading fashion houses in the field of couture for brides and evening wear, with clothes that are characterized by high production quality, meticulous sewing techniques, and in combination with unique technologies and methods that they have developed and through which they are able to offer custom-made couture dresses without physically meeting the client who is abroad "L. This is possible thanks to an Israeli technology called OPTITEX. And this is how it works; all orders are received from abroad, from about 80 stores, and all the measurements are already entered there (which are taken by the stylists in the stores trained for this).

The software processes all the data, outputs an exact cut which is then printed and then the dress begins to be cut and sewn.


98% of the time we score accurately.

Obviously there may be deviations, but there are such professional and experienced eyes here that constantly see pictures of the future bride, and the adjustments are made accordingly.

If small repairs are required, the teams in the various stores around the world are able to do them themselves, while the significant repairs are done only by us," says Mohadad Saber.

The same method was used in "Galia Lahav" to work on the dress that was tailored to Jennifer Lopez's personal measurements, and individually with her styling team, and without the Israeli team meeting with her.

Sharon explained: "We received Lopez's measurements in advance, but of course there are a million photos and references online of her in tight dresses. During the joint work, every measurement she took was zoomed in, or we had a conversation right after."

This is not the first time that the fashion house "Galia Lahav" has dressed Jennifer Lopez in high-profile events, such as her appearance on the New Year's Eve in New York in 2019 when she wore a crazy Gila Lahav overall.

But this time, the cross-continental collaboration on the film Shotgun Wedding, which stars an amazing cast that includes Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge and Darcy Carden, is undoubtedly one of the more powerful projects facing Lopez and her team, which lasted about two years (the film was postponed twice, due Corona virus restrictions).

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J. Lo wears a Galia Lahav overall at a New Year's Eve concert, New York 2019 (Photo: Public Relations)

How did the collaboration with the production of the film Shotgun Wedding begin?

"We were approached by the production company that produced the film, Lionsgate. When the costume design was entrusted to the great costume designer Mitchell Travers, who has worked with all the celebrities in the industry, including Jennifer Lopez in the past. From the first conversation we understood that this was a crazy project in no time - we had One month! But it was clear to us that we were going for it and no matter what, even if we worked here 24/7."

And what was it like for you to work opposite Mitchell Travers?

"I have not come across people like that, he is simply amazing. In a Zoom call or on the phone, you feel his support, which gives you the strength and the drive. From the beginning he said he would guide us on how to do the process very quickly because we don't have much time. Mitchell, for his part, was full of appreciation for us and said no Never received such service, the fact that we devote so much time to this project, and if he asks for something the next day it is already there. They were really grateful and sent us a letter from Jennifer and gifts. The punctuality, the fact that we were willing to put everything aside and make this crazy project happen To happen within one month, it was psychedelic and exciting. For our fashion house, it was truly an extraordinary experience to work with him."

"J.Lo herself was my inspiration. I made countless sketches for her, it just flowed to me."

Sharon Saber (Photo: Ana Carvalosa. Copyright: © 2023 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved)

Tell us about the bride, meaning the dress you designed for Jennifer Lopez;

The inspiration, the fabrics, the colors

"J.Lo herself was my inspiration. I made countless sketches for her, it just flowed to me. But during the production, I quickly settled on the style and what fits the plot. The instruction was to design a dress that is timeless but very contemporary ), and that Lopez will of course be able to move in it, and that's what we're known for. Originally, the first prototype we sent them had crazy embroidery on the bodice, but they decided to give up the decorations, preferring a more "simple" and modern dress. Which is also more true to Lopez's character in the film. The dress was made entirely of silk tulle in the shade "blash" (powder), layers upon layers upon layers, which also fell apart in the end. As soon as I realized that the dress was also the "star" in the film, in the process of working we literally tore apart different fabrics to figure out what and how would work best. We made A mini model doll and we did all the experiments on her with the multitude of models and fabrics."

"Ginnifer Lopez was absolutely involved in everything."

Sharon Saber (Photo: Ana Carvalosa. Copyright: © 2023 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved)

Was Galia Lahav herself involved in the design of the dress?

"Me and Galia are always partners in everything that happens here. I draw the sketches and choose most of the things, but it's always done together with her. And it's not just Galia and I, but 50 people who work here and without whom not a single garment would have been created."

"Me and Galia are always partners in everything that happens here."

Galia Lahav (Photo: Eyal Nebo)

Did Jennifer Lopez have any say in the design of the dress?

"She was completely involved, and we also received detailed, filmed feedback from her. In advance, Mitchell told me that Lopez must and always wants to be involved in everything."

And did you meet her, J.Lo, during the project or filming for the movie?

"Unfortunately, no. I was of course supposed to make it to all the measurements, but it wasn't possible in the end because of the corona virus. Several conversations were also scheduled with her, but somehow it didn't happen because of the time difference and her crazy schedule."

At the center of the film's plot, Darcy (J. Lo) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) are about to get married.

Tom arranges for the wedding to take place in Bali, so that their families will be reunited together in an exotic destination.

But as Darcy and Tom begin to get cold feet about the wedding, their troubles worsen when the wedding guests are taken prisoner by a group of pirates.

Will they survive the wedding?

And more importantly, for us, was to understand - whether and how Darcy's wedding dress survives this crazy romantic action comedy?!

In fact, the project required making dozens of copies of the same dress, which was literally like one of the characters in the film, and went through all the developments in the plot with "Darcy", while she literally sheds layer after layer of it (from the dress) in a super metaphorical way for what her character is going through.

Until at the end the last layer remains, which becomes Darcy "as a second skin".

To this end, the "Galia Lahav" fashion house carefully created 28 handmade couture dresses, in just a month,

"The instruction was to design a dress that is timeless but very contemporary, and that she can of course move in."

Sharon Saber (Photo: Ana Carvalosa. Copyright: © 2023 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc)

How did you manage to do all this in a month?

"The whole studio rallied for this," Saber explains, "it's about 50 people. Everyone who was here gave a hand, even those who weren't involved in sewing. Literally the whole business came together for this project, and to tell the truth, the time pressure overcame the excitement and we managed to do This. At first, they asked us to make 18 copies of the dress, and that's what we sent. But in the 90th minute, they realized that it wouldn't be enough, depending on the number of takes required for the filming, and they asked us to make about ten more. Also in terms of transporting the dresses, at the last minute they were filming in the Dominican Republic and we had to change the shipping, so there were no shortage of challenges, including technical ones. But we did it."

Is there a "copy" of the dress left somewhere (out of the 28 you made)?

Or were they all "destroyed" during the filming of the movie?

"One and only dress remained intact, and it is currently on display in Miami."

"Sure, we'll be happy to design Lopez's dress for brides who want it."

Sharon Saber (Photo: Ana Carvalosa. Copyright: © 2023 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc)

While Kim Kardashian and celebrities like her, may be ready to arrive at the big ceremonies and fashion events when they literally stand in the limousine-van that drives them ("thanks" to the complex/hummed dresses they wore), Sharon Saber, on the other hand, doesn't like that his brides or stars can't sit.

Just recently his quote "brides should always sit in their wedding dress before they commit to buying", from an interview with "Insider" magazine last January, became viral in the bridal worlds.

"I believe that a bride can't stand the whole evening. It's an event that requires a certain amount of effort, and it's also particularly exciting, so you don't breathe normally. I don't like a bride who can't sit down, or even that it's hard for her to breathe, and that the dress looks terribly wrinkled, and that it's problematic to get into the car. Especially regarding the project This one, as soon as I realized that this was an action movie and that Lopez had to run and climb, then there was no doubt that the dress had to be comfortable and allow for all this physicality. We don't make stiff clothes anyway. When people hear "corset" they immediately think of this kind of torture, and in the past when I was just starting out in In 1996 they would really make corsets on stiff drill fabric, they didn't know all the techniques of how to thread the bones so that it would be thin and a little flexible. Everyone was amazed at the first corset we made, which was more flexible. Whoever didn't measure it, there was madness around it."

"In my eyes, every bride is J.Lo, and that's how I treat them when I design for them."

Sharon Saber (Photo: Public Relations)

Are brides already asking you to design them "inspired by" the dress that Lopez wore in the movie?

"Obviously. And it's not inspired, they want exactly the same dress. Around the buzz and the premiere of the film, we get non-stop messages about it on Instagram and inquiries to the office."

And you don't have a problem with that?

Not technically either, does it say in the "copyright" sign of the production on the design, etc.?

"There's absolutely no problem with that, and sure, we'll be happy to design Lopez's dress for brides who want it."

"The dress was made entirely of silk tulle in a "blash" (powder) shade, layers upon layers that also fell apart in the end."

Sharon Saber (Photo: Ana Carvalosa. Copyright: © 2023 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc)

How much is a dress like this expected to cost, you wonder?

The answer is: about 13,200 dollars to buy.

When 10-12 thousand dollars is also the average price for buying a wedding dress at "Galia Lahav" (brides abroad usually buy the dress, although in Israel the rental genre is more common).

Who is Galia Lahav's bride? How would you characterize her?

"The bride of Galia Lahav is a bride who knows fashion. A bride who doesn't want to look like her grandmother, but up-to-date. We always brought the news first before everyone else, whether it was in the designs we presented many years ago and at the time they didn't believe that brides would dare to wear such dresses. Designers and competitors also killed us At the beginning, already a season after we were copied. Our brides are very powerful women, they don't hide in the dishes and they don't look to "cover up", on the contrary. This includes women who are more plus size, our brides like to show their curves and they know that in our dresses it will be seen the best Well. Brides are the most challenging customers out there, after all, they go through several places, take a lot of measurements, and the most amazing feedback we get from those who come back to us is that there is nothing like Galia Lahav's fit. In my eyes, every bride is J.Lo, and that's how I treat them when I design for them ".

Do your designs lean or flutter to prominent trends sweeping the fashion world?

"Of course. I only look at fashion, not at brides. I see it as fashion and not as a separate niche from what's happening. The collections we put out always have this balance between the commercial and the innovative, which can be expressed in materials, design, and techniques. Like a trend, it takes time to assimilate, so in the world of brides it takes at least two years since you saw them in fashion."

Saber says that he was the first, for example, to introduce the puffy or balloon-like sleeves into the designs of wedding dresses, in the "Alegria" collection that came out in October 2018 (Fall-Winter 2019 collection).

What is the unique contribution of the "Galia Lahav" fashion house to the bridal fashion industry?

"First of all, in general, the Israelis introduced something into the wedding dress industry that had not changed anything for decades. From the seventies to the nineties, even the beginning of the 2000s, there was almost no change. Everything looked the same, and to be honest, it looked horrible. We always brought "fashion "For the industry. People also raised an eyebrow here and there, for things we did that were bolder or more innovative than what was accepted until then."

"I'm constantly reinventing myself, I don't know how to repeat myself."

Sharon Saber (Photo: Public Relations)

The fashion house "Galia Lahav" releases a new collection of wedding dresses twice a year (April and October, according to the Bridal Market in New York), 15 dresses for each collection.

This is of course in addition to the ongoing activity with clients in Israel and the world, with the Hollywood entertainment industry and red carpet events.

In fact throughout the year there is hardly a day that Saber does not create or develop something else.

He is literally an amazing sketch machine.

It is enough just to see the work wall in his office to understand that for him there is no limit to how much the wheel can be reinvented, "If every one of these would come back to life as soon as I finish a sketch, I would do even more" he declares with a broad smile.

What do you like to design the most?

Wedding dresses, or evening?

"I only like black," he grins, "and I like brides in shades, I don't like white. I prefer to do something that is more complex, and I'm very happy with brides that you can be more wild because they are much more open to fantasy. While doing something that is between being a guest and being Representationally, except if it is for the red carpet, there is no such audacity there."

The iconic Jennifer Lopez in another spectacular, and mega-sexy, design by the Galia Lahav fashion house (Photo: Yehchat)

Where does your inexhaustible inspiration come from, to produce truly countless models and collections over decades?

"I personally like a very feminine style with no limits. I don't like to compromise on anything and go with things to the end, and I also like women who don't compromise on anything. Lots of things influence me and I'm endlessly inspired, there isn't one specific thing. But I All the time, I don't know how to repeat myself."

Are there any other big projects in the pipeline that you can reveal?

"There are quite a few. Just last Saturday Marc Anthony (yes yes J.Lo's ex, TA) married Nadia Ferreira (model and Miss Universe 2021, TA) who wore our dress. In addition, Olympic champion Simone Biles is getting married in May The next and she will wear 4 Galia Lahav dresses. The entire Vogue team came to record her measurements and interview me and Galia."

There are a few more movies that need to come out, where we dress very big stars, but we can't talk about that right now.

And also a number of weddings that we won't be able to share yet." There is no doubt that there is something to look forward to!

  • Fashion

  • The fashionistas


  • Galia Lahav

  • Jennifer Lopez

Source: walla

All life articles on 2023-01-30

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