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(Portland, Oregon) Fuller Rosen Gallery presents Patterning, a solo exhibition featuring new work by Portland-based artist Ophir El-Boher.

How might we use fashion to represent time as continuity rather than change? 

Fusing design, fashion, art, education, and sustainability, Ophir El-Boher produces unique, future-forward fashion items by deconstructing icons of Western attire. Trousers and shirts are unstitched from their original placement, relocated on the body, and finally transformed into new design patterns.

By actively employing collaboration and communication, Ophir aims to lead a sea change — rethinking and recreating the ways in which clothing is produced, consumed, used, and disposed of. She believes that, if done correctly, fashion can inspire and lead to positive change. Through writing, public speaking and education, Ophir promotes cultural and behavioral shifts around fashion consumption, providing knowledge, tools, and methods for creative alternatives to satisfy materialistic needs and desires.

In addition to the presented work, Fuller Rosen will release Ophir's latest artist publication; a guide illustrating how to make your own designer-outfit following the patterns of her exhibited couture.


Fashion is fun. It is my art form, my way to express myself and push conventional ideas beyond their limits. Through fashion, I can speak what’s on my mind, critique what I see in the world, connect with people... Awareness of the environmental disasters and the social disruptions hyper-consumerism creates led me to experiment with using fashion to reconstruct the cultural paradigms that feed these problems; being pro future makes me work against the concept of newness. Through designing and teaching refashioning practices I aim to reduce fashion consumption, and textiles waste. I use fashion as a tool, a catalyst, to make people rethink and reshape their daily life into a more healthy, sustainable way of living, joyfully.

Fashion is the constant change of clothing styles, obligated to create its own death by producing its life cycle. This system generates a wicked problem. The environmental, cultural, and social impacts of fashion are screaming an urgent need for a deep change.

As humans, we look for patterns around us to help make sense of our existence and the randomness we might experience. As a designer, the patterns I recognize become the conceptual material for my work. They describe and demonstrate the systems we operate within, and their exploration allows speculations about the future of these systems. These speculations then lead to another sort of patterning, the action of creating patterns, fashioning the system itself.

In Patterning, I use clothes’ archetypes that circulate globally in quantities greater than humanity’s needs for many years to come. Through deep investigation, patterns, conceptual and physical, are deconstructed and used as the material for rebuilding new ones. The new patterns are made to disrupt the information and material flows of the fashion system. Through simple manipulations, the linear system of production-consumption becomes a circular system of reclaiming and refashioning. The objects created through this system can be made by anyone, no expertise needed, with only old men’s clothes.
Ophir El-Boher, untitled, collage sketches, 2020

Ophir El-Boher, untitled, dress design, 2020

Artist Bio

Ophir El-Boher (b. 1987, Negev Desert, Israel, she/her) is an apparel designer focused on the ecological, cultural and social aspects of fashion. Through her research, she is creating ethical and sustainable models for clothing production. Through her studio practice, she is investigating the meaning of wearable objects, using a variety of crafts and value creation. Inspired by natural and cultural systems, Ophir uses the platform of fashion design to address phenomena of contemporary issues such as natural resource degradation, hyper-consumerism, and gender equity.

Ophir holds a B.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Design and Secondary Education from Kibbutzim College in Tel-Aviv and a MFA in Collaborative Design from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. Her imaginative designs and her innovative lectures won several contests and shows including The Social Pitch, SH/FT fashion show, and the Textile Connections Symposium Pecha-Kucha. Ophir’s work was featured in exhibitions and shows in Tel Aviv, Illinois, and Oregon, and in publications locally and internationally, including The Oregonian, Oregon ArtsWatch, Artslandia, Inside Fashion Design and the prestigious Haaretz’s Designer Magazine.

Ophir El-Boher