Israel’s art scene: Ilana Goor museum, Jaffa Tel Aviv market. Leopard print dress & suspender tights.

israel fashion blogger outfit

Whenever I travel, I make an effort to explore the local arts scene. I always find inspiration in alternative art museums, design stores and markets — and Jaffa, Israel was no exception.

Follow along with me, as I encounter whales, pandas, and a row of… peni?

suspender print tights, british stockings

La Carmina’s outfit of the day:

Blue leopard print dress: from Apartment at Siam Discovery in Bangkok (similar to this $49 dress)
Short leather jacket with hood: similar to this one by Michael Kors
Cross pattern stockings: Jonathan Aston Harnessed Tights, gifted by UK Tights. The geometric pattern mirrors the straps of my dress.
White crown purse: Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Tokyo

jaffa jonah whale fountain

Jaffa or Yafo was an ancient port city, and now a district of Tel Aviv. As this cute fountain suggests, this was the site of biblical stories including Jonah and the whale, King Solomon and St Peter.

I should mention that while Israel’s official languages are Hebrew and Arabic, pretty much everyone speaks English. Still, I recommend having a guide like our awesome Uri Golani to help you get around in a van, and explain the history.

jaffa flea market, tel aviv

Jaffa Flea Market was like a scene from Arabian Nights. I felt like I had stepped back in time.

jewish hand, hamsa

I was most intrigued by the jewelry stands, which were strung with metal hamsas: amulets shaped like an open palm, to defend against the evil eye.

protect evil eye amulet, necklace

Hamsas are available online too — here are links to a gold hamsa charm and a pendant.

arabian market jewelry, pendants

The Arabian filigree necklaces and lockets were also beautiful. (Photography by Eric Bergemann, Melissa Rundle and me.)

middle eastern market, jaffa israel

Jaffa Hill has such a long history (going back to the Bronze Age) that there are constantly new archaeological discoveries. We walked past several excavations, and even passed an abandoned building that houses flying bats!

hipster israel, jaffa hippies

Today, Jaffa has a hippie / hipster vibe. We went into organic clothing stores, and laid-back cafes covered in ivy. Like in Portland, we saw bird murals and “creative” bicycles.

big door tel aviv, outfit post

Loved the big doors and gates. Israel generally has hot weather, but you’ll want to wear a jacket and good walking shoes in Jaffa, since it’s by the water and has cobbled roads.

old hebrew man, jaffa shop

We poked our heads into modern furniture stores, including one that focused on African designs. Others sold antiques, children’s toys, you name it.

jewish male face, characteristics

Everyone we met was friendly. Tel Aviv is ultra liberal, and nobody will make a fuss if you dress alternatively.

tel aviv cool graffiti art

I generally prefer walking around and seeing street art, instead of going inside a museum. However, we got a tour of the Ilana Goor Museum, and it was the best art experience we had in recent memory.

ilana gur coat rack

Ilana is a decorated Israeli artist, and this 18th century building is her home. Visitors come to see her eclectic art collection, which includes her own works such as funky self-portraits and this phallic coat hanger called “Turkish God of Fertility.”

ilana goor museum, paintings

Ilana Gur actually lives here, and you can feel her personality and passion in each room. Beneath a ceiling punched with holes (an ancient form of air conditioning), I found a fellow blue-haired girl.

horror vases, scary sculptures

From her taste in art alone, I can tell that Ilana and I would get along. There were a number of horror-bizarre objects, such as these creatures emerging from vases.

bet Ilana Gur Museum rooftop art

The rooftop overlooks the water, and is inhabited by offbeat sculptures including bronze cats.

hair blowing in wind

If it weren’t for the wind, I could have spent all afternoon sitting in the garden, under the olive trees.

yafo creative residence israel

Next, we dropped by the Yafo Creative House, a space where travelers can live and collaborate with Israeli artists. The young residents hold weekly meals and exhibitions, and inspire each other to make art. We listened to this singer-songwriter perform two acoustic songs, one in Hebrew and one in English.

tel aviv museum modern art

Finally, we walked around the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. There were pieces by international masters, like Monet and Picasso, but I was more interested in the modern Israeli works.

weird modern art, israel museum

We were confused, disgusted, or amused by the various works, which ranged from obscure video projections to a giant fabric “party monster” that extended over two floors.

stitched mouth eyes

These photographs, showing a woman with her eyes or mouth sewn shut, reminded me of the lip-sewing TV show I did.

andy warhol robot paintings

In the basement’s special exhibit, I learned that Andy Warhol did children’s book illustrations and product designs. Warhol’s robot has a “kawaii” feel to it.

warhol children's art, panda bears

Same with this panda bear banging a drum. As you can see, we filmed all throughout the trip, and will have a travel video for you soon.

harajuku japanese pattern tights

Doesn’t Israel have an intriguing design scene? What do you think of the cross tights and leopard dress I wore in Jaffa?



  1. MelissaR
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    LOVE how these photos turned out! Such amazing memories!!!

  2. diane kaston
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    i am so happy you love jaffa it is one of my favorite places, you must go to neve tzedek next!

  3. Valerie
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink


  4. Cherry
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    where r u at???!

  5. Zeta
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    great xD

  6. erin
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    sweetie. =^-^= <3

  7. Gladys
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Cute panda bears!!!!!!

  8. Saul
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Chica hermosa

  9. Hello Betty
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Jaffa market looks like a dream.

  10. Molly Mc
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    I honestly adore your looks so much *_*

  11. Queenie
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    cool guide

  12. Brenda G
    Posted April 9, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Aw what amazing photos! Enjoy!

  13. Coco
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Post like this are good because of the information about traveling

  14. Kay
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    I wanted the hand pendant

  15. Ilana Iznyuk
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    omg you visited Israel? finally! this is awesome, You should of visited
    Beer-shave(my home town)! we got here allot of Archaeological excavations sites and Art
    museums (by the chance I’m and archeology+art student), I hope You enjoyed=D.
    I love your outfit, especially the blue leopard dress and the leather jacket.
    Fan of your’s,

    IlanaMimu =D out.

  16. Trinity
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Omg I love leopardprint. I got a dress kind of like what you have.

  17. Francisco
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    where are you traveling next, you come to where I am pls!

  18. cool hart
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know about that penis coat rack…

  19. E U
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow that is one hell of a trip you did

  20. Beth
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for showing me the world. I would live to travel but financially it may never be available. I cant wait for your next stop!

  21. trence
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Rad clothes in unusual places, with an aesthetic and accouterments to beat the bat.

  22. Yuuji
    Posted April 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    la carmina i love your page so much id love to see japan one day your the most beautiful woman in world how are you

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