Israeli Designer Noy Munis has always been fascinated with the fantasy world. As a child, she recalls paying attention to things in her environment that others didn’t notice. Whilst other little girls dressed up barbies, Noy enjoyed collecting items on the street and taking them home to create jewellery, collages and even a tent to stay in for a few days. Her dreaminess and desire to recreate her unique version of the world has followed her into her adulthood. It’s a part of her personality that she cherishes closely and is present in her creative processes.
Noy began working as a photographer in her teen years, where she became more interested in fashion. Military service is mandatory in Israel, but that didn’t stop her creative endeavours. During her second year in service, Noy was designated Military Photographer. Once she completed her compulsory service, she finally ventured into the world of fashion, putting her photography skills to good use for editorials, European Street Style and even international fashion weeks.
“The world of photography gave me ideas for collages and prints that I created in PhotoShop. Later I created a small line of T-shirts and some Israeli musicians were wearing my T-shirt design to their shows”. Noy’s fashion career steadily progressed as she started working as an Assistant Stylist, which inspired her to study fashion design. “I was curious to discover and learn more. I felt like I was walking into the unknown”. Although she’d hope she’d end up studying abroad, in the end, she was accepted at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv.
Noy’s first year at fashion school was particularly challenging. She found the institution’s expectations too restrictive and traditional, they often labelled her designs as controversial. None-the-less, she never parted from her unique style, which has ultimately led her to start her label Munisa.
Œ: What are the greatest sources of inspiration for Munisa designs?
Noy: “I’m attracted to a world of surrealism, fantasy, magic, horror and inhuman characters. One of the artists who influenced me a lot is Salvador Dali. In particular, his eccentric and theatrical personality along with how he expresses motifs of dream, bizarreness, fantasy and sexuality in his works.
In music, I am mostly influenced by punk, rock, metal, and the new wave. Marilyn Manson is another character who has significantly influenced my work. He is simply a genius in his own right, someone who is very much driving in his own lane, never sidetracked by others. I like that he always knows how to keep himself relevant. Unfortunately, some recent violent acts of his towards women that have been exposed has led me to no longer support him. I look at the character I adored in a different light today.
When it comes to movies, I love those that shake my world. My motto is the more extreme, the better. I have an attraction to thrillers, horror, fantasy and Sci-Fi. My favourite old horror movies include Frankenstein (1931), Nosferatu (1922), Psycho (1960) and Suspiria (1977). One of my favourite directors is Tim Burton. He is a genius at inventing fantasy worlds. From the stage world, I adore The Phantom of the Opera; the gothic novel full of pain. The costumes are the most impressive I have ever seen. I love drama so much! Without drama, I would probably die of boredom”.
Œ: Can you share the backstory of this collection featured in this article?
Noy: “Exceeding Expectations is an androgynous collection that aims to explore the subject of the ‘other’ in society. It presents my ideal of unconventional new beauty. Throughout history, anyone who strayed from the acceptable norms; both in appearance and in behaviour, was considered controversial and weird in the eyes of society. Acts like ‘Freak Shows’ publicly presented people born with physical deformations so they could be mocked and ridiculed. I created my figures with silhouettes that challenge the mainstream ideal of beauty and the common proportions of the human body. The bodies presented in Frankenstein and The Elephant Man were both inspirations for this collection. Unlike general society, in my collection, these human figures are admired and glorified.
Regarding techniques and design practices, these forms are expressed using leather, printing distortions and deformed silhouettes, using 3D techniques. Nowadays, this topic is also connected to a discussion gaining popularity, that of online bullying and new media shaming”.
Œ: What projects are you currently working on?
Noy: “In the last year, I got to experiment mainly with costume design. After my graduation, I worked in theatre as a dressmaker and did an internship with a costume designer, where we made costumes for the opera “Don Giovanni”. The world of theatre has always intrigued me. I started making custom made items for people from the stage world, like dancers, singers, etc. Recently, I got the opportunity to work on an outfit for Sita Abellán: who is a DJ, model, stylist and owner of a jewellery brand. It was an interesting journey to work with her as she challenged me with new colours and patterns.
These days I have a couple of projects on the go. One of those, I am working with 3D artists and a photographer on an ambitious and exciting editorial. Alongside this, I continue to create costumes for video clips for musicians. I have even started making new samples from all the leftovers I have accumulated over the years. These items can be purchased at my Depop store. I am also working on a website where I can present all my works and items for sale. I want to give the customer options so that every print, colour and cut will be customised to the person ordering. I’m planning to launch my site in the new few months. At the moment, I am less interested in creating a collection. I feel it is less relevant for this time. Part of my plan for this year is to move to London and continue to work and create from there”.