Rivka Bezalel – Curriculum vitae

Rivka Bezalel – Curriculum vitae

Rivka Bezalel  

Relevant work experience:

2013-2014       Founder of Fashion Therapy in Israel and Worldwide

2004-2014       Multidisciplinary artist


Exhibitions and publications:

  • A project: "Imaginary Gardens of Eden". At "The Misrad"

Gallery in Tel-Aviv. Curator: Rachel Sookman, Guest curator: Hannah Kopler.

This multidisciplinary project included: presentation works, stills and video art.  At the end of the project, the book "Imaginary Gardens of Eden" which was written by me, was published through that gallery's publication in collaboration with the Culture Administration, the Culture and Sports Ministry and the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa municipality.

2006-2010        "The Atonement Road" Project- a multidisciplinary project including: presentation works, photography, street theater and video art. It was operated around the country for three years and at the end, an exhibition was presented at "The Misrad" Gallery in Tel-Aviv. The curator was Rachel Sookman. In 2014 this exhibition will be presented in Munich, Germany as part of the International art exhibition

  • Exhibition, sponsored by the Foreign Ministry and the Israel-Germany Industry and Commerce Bureau.
  • 2004-2006 "Someone is scattering these roses- Aulelya" – Exhibited at "The Misrad" Gallery in Te;-Aviv. Curator: Rachel Sookman. A multidisciplinary exhibition which included: presentation works, photographs, body sculpting and paintings.
  • "Narkis" – Internal Design Office, Tel-Aviv. A partner.
  • "Paint Magic" – Neve Zedek, Tel-Aviv. Principal of the

Artistic Painting School and a teacher of artistic painting.

1987-1996       "Beit Halochem", Spivak , Ilan  Beit Dani (all institutes treating the disabled ) Physical education teacher and swimming instructor within the framework of regular education and special education.


  • Lesley University – M.A. in Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies, Focused on Holistic Health with Art Modalities. My thesis was on the subject of Fashion Therapy.

2010                Instituto MarangoniThe School of Fashion in Milan, Italy. A course in styling and image design.

2009                "Shenkar" Fashion Design School- the External studies unit. A course in styling.

2008                The "Miriam" School– Fashion studies and course in pattern making.

2003-2005       The Art Academy- Beit Berl College- photography, sculpting and art courses within the framework of diploma studies.   

19992001       ORT Internal Design School, Tel-Aviv. Internal Design studies.

1998                Paint Magic The School for Artistic Painting. A course in artistic painting.

1993                The Wingate Institute– External Studies Unit. Specializing in psychology of sports, body language and nutrition.

19901991       "Omanut" School– a course in jewelry design.

19831987       The Wingate InstituteThe Zinmann Physical Education College , B.A. in physical education, specialization in special education.

Rivka Bezalel – Curriculum vitae

 Fashion Therapy   Rivka Bezalel – M.A. in Arts and Social Science By Lesley University

unnamed (6)Fashion Therapy is a new area attempting to connect fashion and therapy through fashion therapy: between the clothes, one wears and the emotions it generates in the one who wears them.

            The course suggested below is intended as preface workshop for fashion design students at higher education institutes and vocational schools and as practical workshop for seniors in the fashion industry (within the framework of master's class or colleagues workshop). The purpose of this course is to point out therapeutic aspects in fashion design; to intensify the existing links between the expression of personal emotions and the wearing of a garment and to actualize them while observing the production of that garment as the process of artistic creation. Namely, it begins with the imagination of the designer, continues with the artistic process of its actual production and ends with wearing the garment which contains the power to lead a therapeutic process in the wearer.

            The aim of the Fashion Therapy course is to help one to understand the power of the material and its impact on emotions. What is the impact of the garment on the emotions? How can a garment create precision, elation, self –confidence or joie de vivre? How do the color, form or material which compose the garment, activate the emotions? What do children mean when they claim "I don’t want to wear this"? What in fact, are they trying to express through that? Why do girls ask for a 'twirling' dress? How is it that the jeans pants had kept their power as a most popular and loved item to wear for decades? How can a garment form the sensation of "a second skin" for its wearer? How can it lead the wearer to hold his head high and feel that he/she is wrapped with a sensation that may be described as "I found my place in the world"?

            The first part of the Fashion Therapy course shall be directed at examining the fashion designer as an artist and his/her work of fashion as art. Consequently, the reference to the students in the course would be as to artists and not as to the producers of merchandise in the narrow and limiting sense of that word, since imagination and creativity compose the artist's personal language.

            The painter and art researcher Vassili Kandinsky called the creative artists "The sun of art". He claimed that as such, the artist has the ability to travel the worlds of inspiration and imagination and then he earns the right to gather his experiences and information and present them – with new power and momentum- to the world around him.

            The German artist Joseph Beuys – who is considered as the founder of the Happening and Performance art- believed in the therapeutic abilities of art and argued that it is the only one that may lead to social change. If the role of art in society is to bring something new to the world in order to make a change then a possible change through fashion therapy is healing.

            At the theoretic tangent point with the professions that investigate the human soul and wish to cure it, there is the image of Abraham Maslow- one of the most salient founders of the humanistic school in psychology and the image of Alfred Adler founder of the individual psychology trend who regarded the human as a whole and holistic entity. Maslow (2013) argued that a musician must compose music, the painter must paint and the poet must write poetry. He explained that whatever a person can be-it is his duty to be it for the artist is the one mediating between the rich themes that evolve there and between his social environment and his daily life in the world.

            In the second part of the Fashion Therapy course, we shall develop and improve the designers' abilities for empathy. This will be achieved through the comprehension of the "emotional experience" concept (with the assistance of theories from the areas of psychotherapy and psychology that focus on the body) and through his/her connection with the physical body and physical experience. Finding such connections between the internal, emotional world of the person and between his/her dressing experience will be bound by the fashion designer's responsibility for such experience. Fear, anger, frustration, joy or pleasure- all these are emotions linked to the human's emotional experience opposite the garment.  The major understanding in the course is that that there is a need for overlapping or congruence between the human's inner, emotional world and the clothes that reflect him/her (Bat-Yaar, 2010).

In addition, the key concept, as expressed by Alber Elbaz – "emotional clothes"- shall guide that course.

            All along history and at the basis of fashion changes there are psychological motives. Regarding this view, we shall observe works of fashion designers like Albert Elbaz, Alexander McQueen, Vivian Westwood, Cristobel Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Hossein Chalayan, Tamara Yovel-Jones, Dorin Frankfurt, Dina Glass and others as well as the fashion shows in recent years, at the Shenkar School for Fashion Design. We shall examine various works in order to find authentic expression of the creator in them and a specific, intentional emotional experience for the wearer.

            Aiming to better comprehend the connections between art and healing, the methodology of the course shall include diverse sources covering various areas of research and expertise: fashion, art, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, body-language, music and color. If we suppose that art has the power to direct a person to that, which Aristotle called "the inner essence of things"; if we assume that creativity is the process leading to the creation of something original or the ability to lead the human to an original and meaningful product (Yanai, 2013), then the fashion therapy area raises queries. What is the experience of clothes wearing? What is its connection to the "feeling comfortable" or to the sensation of "being wrapped by a second skin "? If a garment is sewn and fits "like a glove", can it act as a kind of "home"? We shall examine the works by the fashion designer Sasson Kedem in view of these points.

            Each lesson within the framework of the course shall integrate actual experiencing, transference of technical data about the specific theme of that lesson (please see specification in a separate document). In it, an attempt will be made to demonstrate and teach how it is possible to translate the creative imagination into an actual composition using therapeutic methods. How to create a garment while thinking about the person for whom one feels empathy? How to identify the needs of the wearer and that which he/she needs? How to settle self-confidence, joy, pleasantness or a sensation of nobility for example, through the preparation of the garment to be worn?

            The Fashion Therapy course aims to open a window for the fashion design students to the world of therapy. It aims to comprehend the emotions of the human being and through such understanding to turn creativity into empathy.

Through that, it is the goal of the course to impart its students the tools which will help them understand their abilities fully as artists and internalize them.



articlesThe aim of the present research paper is to point out therapeutic aspects in fashion design. The hypothesis of this research is that clothes can instigate emotional experience in those who wear them. The fashion designer should be aware of this, and  plan his/her creations congruently with that purpose. The designer must decide which emotional experience he/she wants to inspire on the one wearing his/her designs.
The object of this research is to show how fashion designs are the authentic expression of their creators and also awakens a certain emotional and tuned experience for the wearer.
Each chapter in this thesis leads towards more understanding of the connection between clothes and their ability to heal, thus describing the role of the fashion designer in that process. All along the road, there is the knowledge that comprehension of this research is based on holistic process in which all the phenomena are equally important. The stages of the research are interwoven and so each part depends on the other and the changes in one affect the others too.
The first chapter concerns the theme of art and healing. What is art? Who is an artist? What is the role of art? What is the role of the artist as a healer?
The second chapter carries us to the art of clothing – the world of fashion designs and that of the fashion designer. This is followed by literature review regarding the major tools available for the fashion designer. These tools are presented in precise and intentional order: color, form, material, imagination and creativity followed by authentic language, empathy and the emotional experience. At this stage, the reader shall 'climb up the mountain' which will enable him to think –in an almost physical manner- about his comprehension of the process through his heart, due to the unconscious way in which he was led by reading this material.
The third chapter introduces the way in which the fashion designer refines his therapeutic capabilities by creating clear and authentic language that he gained through his worlds of imagination and creation- the characteristics with which he was gifted. The way in which he improves his empathetic abilities and understands the concept of emotional experience and its links to the physical body and physical experience enable him to find the connection between the intrinsic, emotional world of the human being and the way he perceives his clothing experience and his responsibility for that experience as an artist. The following chapters describe the analysis of the findings. Data analysis is a process in which all the information that was collected is organized and structured to enable understanding of its meanings. The analysis is bound by the dismantling of the data into segments and then, reassembling them anew according to order that provides them meaning. Categorization is the basis for data analysis and it is founded on information segments which seem to belong to the same phenomenon.
Categorization is based on classification performed by dismantling the data in order to comprehend their meaning. This process was performed through comparison between the parts of the information gained through in-depth interviews and the data found through the literature review as presented in the first chapters. The present research makes use of precise quotations of the interviewees in a way that illustrates the authentic picture of the researched phenomenon. Precise quotations transmit the fear, anger, frustration, joy and pleasure of the interviewee and contain the superficial as well as the profound meanings about him/her. The accurate quotations constitute a good way to become acquainted with the experience and meaning that the interviewee grants his/her experience.
Chapter four presents general review about the fashion designer Sasson Kedem and continues with empiric analysis of the interview held with him.
Chapter five introduces general review of the four interviewees- women who have been wearing clothes by Sasson Kedem, for more than a decade. This is followed by empiric analysis of these interviews. In chapters four and five, we notice that some of the mapping categories become more dominant while others become less dominant. In order for the research to be reliable, all the perspectives and criteria of the research were openly presented before the reader. The reader will be led, step by step, towards the averment of the research hypothesis. However, the assumption of the research approach used in the present thesis is that finally, it is the reader who decides whether the results of one research are meaningful with reference to other contexts.
The sources of the research are eclectic and are taken from diverse areas: the world of fashion, art, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, body language, music and color. The research is built like a puzzle in which each part is like a musical note and the complete creation is the song – anew song in the research field of fashion design and therapy.

The subject of this thesis is fashion therapy- namely, therapy through fashion. The assumption of this research is that the clothes form in their wearer an emotional experience and the fashion designer is supposed to be aware of that and plan his creations , initially, with the intention to aim at the emotional experience that they maylead.
The goal of this research is to present fashion design which contains the authentic expression of its creator as well as form emotional, establishing and healing experience for the wearer.
The strategy for the qualitative research I chose to use is phenomenology. The phenomenological research handles the research of the human experience and the phenomenon is the object of the inquiry (Shkedi, 2003). In this research, the researched phenomenon is the awareness of the fashion designer to the emotional impact of the garment he created on the one who wears it. In the phenomenological research, the data collection process focuses on the in-depth interviews. The researcher collects information from the participants who went through the experience personally, while aspiring to research its meaning in their daily life (Ibid.)
In this research, interviews were held with the fashion designer Sasson Kedem and with four women who have been wearing his clothes for more than a decade.
The qualitative research considers the place of the researcher in the field (Ibid.).
There is interaction between me as the researcher and the field of research and I must be aware of it and consider that during the data analysis for "In order to understand the world you must become part of it and at the same time, remain separated from it. Tobelong and to be differentiated." (Shkedi 2003:57) The written thesis will be composed as a collage: representing my image as the researcher and the way I understand and interpret the researched phenomenon. This work not only demands of me to present the findings of the research and present my arguments regarding the research query but also to build a reliable, convincing, interesting and attracting text.
I would like to present a literary writing that can present this subject in enriching manner so it may become a unique creation that requires structuring and design just as any other work of art.
I would like my thesis to have aesthetic value which is closer to the artistic side, and all of that within the traditional model of academic writing. Following the interviews and their analysis I shall divide the material into six major themes: color, form, material, imagination, creativity, authenticity, empathy and emotional experience. Later on, I shall build the connections between these themes.

In the following sub-chapter, I shall present Sasson Kedem and describe his action in Israel and in the world.
I shall present quotations from his interviews on the media and analyze my interview with him. I quoted his words with precision so at times things may seem as though they are not presented in professional linguistic manner.
Still, I chose that since each word is important and the intonation of things is also valuable in order to understand the messages.
Following the interviews and their analysis I shall divide the material into six major themes: color, form, material, imagination, creativity, authenticity, empathy and emotional experience. Later on, I shall build the connections between these themes.
In the following sub-chapter, I shall present Sasson Kedem and describe his action in Israel and in the world.
I shall present quotations from his interviews on the media and analyze my interview with him. I quoted his words with precision so at times things may seem as though they are not presented in professional linguistic manner.
Still, I chose that since each word is important and the intonation of things is also valuable in order to understand the messages.
Later on, I presented the qualities which the artist must improve in order to be a healer too: the connection with the worlds of imagination and creativity in order to develop authentic language; his empathy capability and his understanding of the emotional experience concept which his garments form in the wearer.
This part was followed by the introduction of the interviewees which included the fashion designer Sasson Kedem and four women – Rina, Yaffa, Betty and Havalewho have been wearing his clothes for more than a decade.
I presented the data analysis process which was divided into categories: color, form, material, imagination and creativity, authentic language, empathy and emotional experience. The data analysis showed that some of the categories were more dominant than the others.
The most dominant category was that of the emotional experience. This related to the initial intention of Kedem as well as regarding the most dominant experience among those who wear his clothes. The second important category was connected to the empathy formed by the art designer and the synchronization between him and the wearers of his clothes. The third category referred to the authentic language of Kedem which was born out of his worlds of imagination and creativity, his acorn which turn his clothes into unique one and in turn, the wearers are also unique. That leads the wearers through processes of empowerment and selfconfidence.
The next category referred to the form of the clothes which transmit sensation of comfort 'pajamas' and the caressing, calming fabrics which provide sensations of defense and confidence- like as second skin. Finally, the color which precisely thanks to the peace in it, can lead to mental calmness which is expressed through the idea of the garment.
Sasson Kedem indicated the importance of awareness to the clothes and awareness of the woman who wears it. The interviewees also pointed out their high level of awareness which is synchronized with the awareness of the garment or else the garment would look strange on them. However- this category was not examined in the present research.
In view of the findings and conclusions from this research, it is possible to emphasize the contribution that the present research may grant existing literature and data sources on this issue. This may lead to new researches and new studies about the fashion design at the Fashion Design Schools, in Israel ad around the world.