Fall-Winter '23 - Stolen Meadows
For centuries, Palestinian shepherds have relied on their ancestral farm lands to cultivate grains, store rain water and graze sheep. Since the 1967 capture of the West Bank, and more explicitly over the last two decades, these rural communities have faced extreme restrictions and forced expulsion by Israeli authorities, jeopardizing their livelihood and traditional way of life. Adish's Fall Winter 2023 collection, Stolen Meadows, is inspired by the steadfastness of these shepherds as they struggle to remain on their ancestral land.
Before strict boundaries were imposed, herders could freely traverse great distances between Ottoman regions and Bedouin tribal lands, unhindered in their access to vital pastures. Under Israeli control, Palestinian freedom of movement has become heavily restricted, with large areas of the West Bank designated as "no-go zones".
Other tactics such as home demolitions, live-ammunition military trainings, roadblocks, as well as destruction and contamination of water cisterns are all part of an orchestrated attempt to push Palestinians out of their land and into militarized enclaves. Cracking down on popular resistance and preventing solidarity activists from accessing the communities are commonplace. The Israeli settlement enterprise further isolates these remote communities from their economic and communal ties to cities like Yatta, Hebron, Nablus, and Jenin.
Meanwhile, Israeli agriculture in the West Bank is thriving. Settler outposts use farming and herding as a tactic to illegally gain control of vast areas of Palestinian pasture land, violently preventing Palestinians from accessing it. As result of this oppressive dynamic, Palestinian shepherds live under constant threat: In recent years, attacks by armed Israeli settlers and soldiers have increased, culminating in severe injuries among Palestinians and even death.
This season's collection centers the plight of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and dignity by highlighting the significance of agriculture and herding in their livelihood and heritage. Heavy-duty workwear, the majority manufactured in Occupied Palestine, speaks to the resilience and steadfastness of communities. Wool tailoring returns for the first time since Fall Winter 2019, sourced both from local Bedouin shepherds as well as Japanese producers. A focus on earth tones in varied hues of brown, green, cream, and grey evokes the natural landscape of the region, an integral part of the herders' lives and traditions.
Continued partnerships with craft workshops in Occupied Palestine and Israel are key to Adish's mission of preserving culture through craft. Among them, the Lakiya Weaving Initiative utilizes wool from Bedouin shepherds to create Nasij, traditional Bedouin handweaving, that is incorporated this season as tassels on sweatshirts and sweatpants. Manajel, a type of Bedouin needlework that appears as a single strip of embroidery, decorates a selection of wool trousers and jackets.
A series of traditional embroidery motifs employed throughout the collection originates from Bedouin villages, such as scorpion branches, star discs, and fruitless palms. New graphics applied on T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts feature abstracted aerial views of flocks in rhythmic formations and high-contrast representations of the shearing process.
To expand sustainability efforts, Adish welcomes a variety of collaborations focused on up-cycling. The Inoue Brothers, makers of sustainably produced Andean alpaca wool, joins Adish for a second season to give new life to their deadstock accessories, including scarves and socks, with the use of unique embroidery. And cult-label Suicoke shared warehoused canvas fabric for embroidery by Paelstinians in al-Arroub refugee camp, before creating their signature Zavo sandals in two colourways.