Sharon Sever is the Head Designer at Galia Lahav. As a dedicated student, Sharon left his family and hometown in Ashdod, Israel to pursue his dreams of becoming a fashion designer in one of the world’s most fabulous cities – Paris. A BFA Graduate and Fashion Diploma holder from the Paris American Academy, Sharon also apprenticed at Christian Lacroix, Pierre Balmain, Carven, Balenciaga and some of the other leading Parisian fashion houses. Galia Lahav was actually Sharon’s arts & crafts school teacher and she always admired Sharon’s talents and the way he sketched and designed with utmost care and delicacy, always resulting in perfection.
Sharon, how and when did your interest in fashion start?
I was born this way. My grandmother was a high fashion seamstress and my father was a photographer. From a very young age I have been fascinated by the way fashion could transform people, I used to envy my parents when they went out dancing on weekends all dappered and play dress up with my grandmother and aunt. I loved the freedom different clothes made me feel.
At which exact moment did you know you wanted to design bridal gowns?
I got my first assignment in bridal as a fashion student and sketched a few wedding gowns with very fitted silhouettes and sheer cutouts. My professor freaked out and told me these are not wedding dresses and they are way too sexy for a bride. In that exact moment I knew I was heading the right way.
You were an apprentice at many leading Parisian fashion houses. What experience did you gain from apprenticing at those brands?
As a designer you must always be open to new ideas and you never stop learning. I am still learning new things every day. Of course being exposed to the peak of the fashion world as a young student had a very big impact on my career and on my character, but I was ready to do any task. With no experience whatsoever I had the chance to be involved in the entire process of designing, from fittings with the top supermodels in lavish salons to deliveries in the gloomy Parisian Metro in the most remote parts of town and I learned from each and every experience.
Galia Lahav was your teacher back in the day. How did the idea of your partnership come up?
Galia has been mentoring me for a few decades now and I had no doubts when she offered me my first job when I came back home from Paris.
As we do share a similar passion for everything Glam, Galia must have noticed my contribution to her fashion house. And since I knew my purpose was to bring Haute Couture to a larger audience, working with Galia in the bridal industry made me realize that walking down the aisle is similar to walking on the catwalk, every woman is a superstar on her wedding day and brides want to be supermodels looking their best on the big day.
Where do you draw inspiration from when you’re drawing sketches and creating new designs?
Anything can trigger my imagination for a new line, be it music, food or vacation. I can’t put my finger on onething, the world is filled with magic and wonder we just need to feel.
Which fabrics do you most enjoy working with? Is there a fabric that is really hard to work with?
My passion for lace is quite evident in many of my dresses, but the creation of a fabric from scratch is definitely a very rewarding experience for me, when the fabric is just a blank canvas especially with embroidery and I am free to make any fantasy come to life.
If you had to describe your style in three words, which three words would that be?
All. About. Women.
At Galia Lahav, you create many custom gowns. Which celebrity’s custom gown was your favorite design so far?
I honestly do everything from heart and each dress is very dear to me. However, I have been involved in a major project working for the incredible J.Lo on a movie and working on a dress which has a role of its own definitely makes it very memorable.
What would you say is the biggest difference between Couture and Gala bride?
Each line appeals to a different girl, and I always have my brides in mind while designing. The Gala brides are trendy girls with a high fashion sense, current and up to date while the Couture bride is looking for a statement dress, a timeless creation which can be personalized and very detailed.
If you had to choose only one collection as your favorite to date, which one would you chose and why?
Ok, no favorites, but attending Paris Couture week was definitely a milestone in my career and the Victorian affair collection will always remind me of the first time I had the chance to be on that runway.
You surely have your favorite gown from all of the collections you’ve created. Which gown gets the honor of being your favorite ever?
I never have one favorite, they are all “my children”.
Which fashion metropolitan do you believe is the best city for bridal fashion?
Tel Aviv of course. We, Israeli designers, take pride in taking over the bridal world by a storm with a distinct style which raised a few eyebrows in the beginning but we are the ones who introduced this style to the vast market and we all work locally.
Where do you see bridal fashion trends going in the next 3 years?
I see bridal fashion finally getting its worthy place as real proper fashion, an inseparable part of the fashion universe.
Can you maybe give us a hint on what can we expect in the upcoming collections for Spring 2023?
2023 is going to be a wake up call for everyone, we are breaking free from the chains of a pandemic which shook the entire world and we are all entitled to happiness and freedom. The world will never be the same. As new technologies are already conquering the fashion scene, it’s time to embrace the change.
Do you and Galia have any special plans for the future of the brand?
We have endless projects for the future, especially nowadays as everything is moving forward so fast and it is important to keep a very close relationship with our customers. People are very outspoken about their needs and we are constantly asked for more variety and new products. The GL world is evolving into an entire domain and we are always very happy to stand up for the challenge.
This interview was done for Numéro Netherlands by Jana Letonja.