Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 16 - Magpie Goose, The Message Between the Lines

Guest Article by Randi Winter, Passionate Travel

Image by Kerp Photography
I am drawn to garments when they tell a story between the lines. It’s extremely difficult to do so when relying on fabric and geometry instead of traditional embellished styling. Designer Hila Herman explained, “I’m looking for ways to add as much fabric as possible in one place and still clear cut. This is my technique for this collection.”

Hila Herman debuted Magpie Goose’s first runway collection March 18th as one of the 109 designers from 25 countries at the 27th season of Vancouver Fashion Week 2016 Fall/Winter. Hila graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and morphed the intangibility of graphic and web design into the tangibility of fashion design.

“Graphic design was not tangible enough from a virtual space, I needed to involve material. I always loved fashion, but it was not an aspiration,” she explained. She started designing 3 1/2 years ago after attending the Shenker School of Design to learn the technical side of fashion design and textiles. “I was full of ideas and needed the technique to execute my ideas.”

Hila’s boutique in the lively NOGA district in South Tel Aviv first was her graphic design studio, allowing her clients to look, try and comment, learning from their feedback and reaction to fit and design. Gradually, she shifted from graphic designer to clothing designer. Compelled and passionate to create clothes, she understood she had to be fully engaged. She started manufacturing in Israel for herself and now Magpie Goose is sold in her studio, online and in other boutiques.

Images by Ed Ng Photography

The clothes are structured yet soft, suitable for daytime and evening, with an emphasis on the quality of the materials, manufacture and comfort. Design is not about patterns or prints, rather proportions and cuts in relation to the “deviations” of body shape and size. This collection is mostly black, white and tan, predominantly cottons and viscose with no prints. “In the design process I am interested in finding balance between opposites-soft and hard, straight and round, self-awareness and nonchalant. I am intrigued by the geometrical aspect of clothes' structure as well as naturally derived shapes and I am motivated by the idea that a garment can accentuate a woman's intellectual presence.”

Images by Ed Ng Photography

Here’s where the name Magpie Goose comes in. The Magpie Goose is a distinct species. “It is a goose but not in the goose family. My collection deals with things in between categories-between soft and hard, distinction of character. I seek contradictions in how they balance and also embrace disharmony. This collection seeks to achieve structures that allow maximum fabric meeting minimum fabric in a clear cut without having a gradual transition between them both. Rubber strapping gathers the excess fabric tangential to the minimal fabric. I asked myself if is possible for a large amount of fabric to suddenly stop and meet a clear cut fabric-minimum and maximum in one line. Sometimes the excessive amount dictates the silhouette and sometimes it is constrained to a certain structure giving a singular silhouette.”

Images by Ed Ng Photography

Influencing the conversation about the collection are the headpieces by Israeli artist Hagar Nissimov. “We worked together, not dealing with beauty and style but rather structure, shape and geometry and accentuate that part of collection.”

Image by Dale Rollings
While the headpieces had bird-like beaks, it was not motivated by Magpie Goose. There was a sense of grace in the sharp edge of beak with bowed heads standing at the end of the runway; like a period at the end of a sentence. While shielding the face, they added to the androgynous look without losing its feminine grace.

It is impossible to ignore the play of masculine and feminine in both design and structure. She is particularly intrigued how women started to behave as women. Were the factors internal or external?

“Sometimes I feel the very core of the person is very different from the outside behavior. As a woman, many times I do not behave the way expected. I am looking for the authentic reasons that make a woman or a man who they are. In my eyes, this core doesn’t have anything to do with gender. 
Socially expected things are not always right for everyone. For me, I tried to work with clothes that are reminiscent of men’s clothing and tailoring, yet soften them where they exist together.” 

Sexuality, community standards and looks play differently in Israel. “Israel could be a lot more open. Civil marriage does not exist. It means that women are not totally free to live their lives as they wish. For me it is all connected from thought process to creative process and passed into the garment.”

When asked about what the future holds for Magpie Goose, she said she plans to “add a men’s collection within 2 years and deal with subjects that I find interesting.”

Images by Ed Ng Photography

What lessons did she learn and advice would she give to aspiring designers, “A collection for the runway is different from a collection sold in shops. Don’t be afraid. Have a clear vision of how you want things to look and it will be a great experience. Say yes to whatever comes.”

To find out more about Hila Herman and Magpie Goose check out any of the following =

Magpie Goose Studio:
9 Nechama Street
Noga District
Jaffa Tel-Aviv 6811535

Contact information for Hila Herman:
Etsy Link Hagar Nassimov - 

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Randi Winter is a New Yorker by birth who promised her mother she would never lose her NY pizazz. She is first and foremost a connector and facilitator on a wide range of global initiatives in health, wellness, innovation and fashion. She is also a Virtuoso Specialist in and Journalist of Inspired Pursuits (shopping should always be inspiring). Her website is

Winter is an active community supporter and mentor for local and global philanthropic and non profits including leadership and facilitator positions at BC Association of Travel Writers,CHWUniversity Women's Club TRAVEL! interest group, Team Helping Type 1 Diabetes, The Besa Project, God's Got It Israel, Tomowave and Probiotica Medical innovations as well as representing distribution for a new eco-friendly shopping cart. She is always pleased to be mistaken for Marilyn R Wilson, and it happens often! Contact: FB Randi Lee Winter and Passionate Travel, twitter @randiwinter @passionatetrvl Pinterest passionatetrvl