September 16, 2011
If you’ve seen Kate Hudson’s stunning yellow gown in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” then you are already acquainted with the work of Los Angeles-based Israeli designer Dina Bar-El.
Although Hudson’s gown is Bar-El’s major claim to fame, her repertoire does not end there. Bar-El has designed dresses for Victoria Beckham, Nancy O’Dell and “American Idol” finalist Katharine McPhee, as well as for television shows such as “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Dancing With the Stars.”
Born in Germany and raised in Israel until the age of 18, Bar-El knew from the age of 6 that she would one day become a fashion designer. She began her now multimillion-dollar company on her living room floor in the 1970s, with a focus on designing leather. Since then, her clothing line has evolved from knits to sportswear, and for the past 13 years, her sole focus has been evening wear.
Working out of a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in downtown L.A., Bar-El prides herself on the fact that all of her dresses are made exclusively in the United States.
Bar-El’s high-glamour dresses are sold in stores from Moscow to the Middle East. Her collections consist of both formal gowns and cocktail dresses. She explains that she targets the “after 5” market, designing dresses for red carpet events, cocktail parties or even the opera.
After more than 30 years in the business, Bar-El still remains excited about designing.
“There is so much passion in a dress,” Bar-El said. “As women, we see a dress and we feel that we have got to have it. There’s something sentimental about it. We fall in love.”
Each season brings different inspiration, but for Bar-El, glamour is always the ultimate goal.
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