Immediatly following the Purim season for us, we started to prepare for a fashion show for children, showcasing some of our best costumes.
This is Emili as Marie Antoinette, one of our most popular costumes for girls. The dress is made from embroidered taffeta and embellished with cream lace and gold trim. The dress utilizes an underskirt and it is cinched in the back for a maximum fit. I made the wig from wool; the base is felted and I made wool curls to put all over the wig. We recieved a special request for a Napoleon Bonaparte costume, that we feel stands up to our Marie Antoinette in beauty and historical accuracy.
This is the epaulette, something many “military guys” wear when they’re dressed up; this was the most important part of the costume for Tal.
I wanted to make a knight in shining armour because I’d never seen a costume like this before made in fabric and I think the ensemble is interesting.
Well, here goes… My name is Laura Burch; my husand Doron Levitas and I have three daughters: Lili, Elli and Emili. I opened a store, it’s a children’s gallery; we design and sew everything in the store. I gave it the name Burch and daughters as a feminist twist to the more traditional naming of businesses such as Smith and sons. My daughters are young, so they don’t actually work at the store yet, but they are my inspiration, models and test subjects for everything we make. I’ve never owned a store before and I don’t consider myself business-minded, I’m an artist. My husband Doron has been guiding me, he is a business man; I’m learning.
The interesting thing and the most challenging aspect of my store is that it is in Tel Aviv, Israel. I’m a girl from the Heartland, living in the Holyland! Serving this culture and my Israeli customers isn’t the same as if my store was in my town, Chicago, Illinois. My tastes and that of many Israeli’s are very different; I have a very conservative style, their’s is much more flamboyant. Many people come into the store and ask me from where do we import. They think that my creations are from England or France, they don’t realize that everything is handmade in the store (upstairs in our studio). But never the less, everyone seems to love the store. They walk in and tell me it seem magical, like they’re in another time and place and they feel that my creation is a fairyland for children.
It really all started after we moved here about 9 years ago. I was a graphic designer and illustrator in Chicago and opening a store was never a goal of mine. I came to this strange land, the big city really, but there was nothing to buy here. Everything was made in China or India, cheap, plastic, poor quality and ugly. I started making the girls clothes, toys and gifts for birthday parties they attended. Now, I never really wanted to move here, so I used to sit around in my own little world and make things, many things. I made cute teddy bears, rag dolls, costumes, ornaments, fabric books, stuffed animals, bags….The things started to fill up the house. Doron said to me we’ll have to open a store just to have somewhere to put this stuff, and that’s what we did.