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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Frum sisters say "frock you" to traditional dressing




Two Orthodox sisters living in Brooklyn want to break the stigma associated with dressing modestly.
Australian transplants Simi Polonsky and Chaya Chanin are the creators of fashion label The Frock NYC, which adheres to the strict dress code required in the Orthodox Jewish community — but does so with a fashionable flair.
Orthodox and Hasidic women must cover their knees, shoulders, neckline and other areas of their bodies deemed “immodest.”
“To the average person, the stereotype of an Orthodox Jewish woman and many modest-dressing women is that they’re dowdy, unattractive and frumpy,” Polonsky told The Post.
As a teen, Polonsky struggled to adhere to the dress code, prompting her to work on creative ways to cover up without crimping her personal style and forming the basis for her eventual fashion line.
“It was so uncool to dress modest. I didn’t want to be uncool, so how can we coolify being modest,” the designer told The Post.
Shternie Mangami and Zelda Volkov count themselves as big fans of the brand and praise it for making shopping easier.
“It was always hard for me to find cute clothing because of our modest restrictions, and I find that that’s what attracts everyone to them — that they’re so fun and hip and exciting,” Volkov told The Post.
While The Frock’s designs are considered demure by many standards, critics of the label argue any push towards modernity is controversial and hurts the community.
“I can’t believe that this woman in this community or these women are wearing this and promoting this, and what’s gonna happen to our children. If our daughters see this, what’s the next thing?” Chanin said of the reaction she has received from some of her peers.
Rabbi Simon Jacobson explained, “It’s a real raw-nerve type of topic. It touches the buttons.”
Controversy aside, the label has cultivated a following. The owners, who founded the business in 2010, said they started out small by dressing women in their Jewish community but now have customers all over the globe.
The designers see no conflict between their traditional dress code and free expression.
“We live in America, the country that is governed by probably the most laws that you can, and we’re known as the land of the free. So to us, having guidelines and boundaries doesn’t take away our freedom,” Polonsky told The Post.
Rabbi Jacobson said even though the fashion label is controversial, he believes it is ultimately positive for the Jewish community.
“I love the idea that people are attempting to bridge the two worlds. To show that traditional Judaism is very much with the times, can be very cool, can be very hip, can be very fashionable and beautiful,” Jacobson told The Post.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

It won't take long for some of the criminally insane sex obsessed RA-BONIM to sign petitions and ban these clothings and ostracize and put these two sisters in CHEREM

AishKodesh said...

S*x obsessed -- please. Don't make yourself sound foolish.

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

AishKodesh said,

"S*x obsessed"

Would that be sox? Or sax? Maybe sux? Possibly six?

I believe you mean sex.

Grown adults are allowed to say and write those words, you know.

And I agree, sex-obsessed is probably wrong. Sexually hypersensitive and terrified of human sexuality might be more accurate. And I wouldn't be shocked if, as Anonymous @ 4:30 says, they find a reason to ban these clothes.

Why do the rabbis even let people pick their own clothes? It seems very 'cutting edge' to me. Wouldn't it be better if they just assigned every woman a single black bag that covers them? I hear it worked out very well for another popular religion.
We really need a group of authoritative men to tackle this very difficult issue.

Anonymous said...

Aish Kodesh
Are you naive or just stupid or maybe both,don't you realize by now that all these insane TZNIUS obsessed so called rabbonim and the TZNIUS police in all the chareidi communities were proven to be the biggest sexuall perverts ,quiet a few of them were arrested for child molestation and rape.
Anyone busy all day long checking out women's skirt lengths and the length of their wigs and how sheer their stockings are has to be a pervert

Chafraud-Depravitch said...

The tznius fanatics completely fail to recognize the law of diminishing returns.
Clothing will only prevent "lewd" thoughts to a certain point, and most of that depends on the mind of the observer. The problem is not a fashionably dressed woman. The problem is the urge of the male who doesn't know how to direct his eyes nor his thoughts. And apparently they don't know how to seek out their wives when they feel "inspired."

A lifeguard at the beach is desensitized enough to not have an impulse when every swimsuit walks by. The extremely sheltered man may get an erection for merely seeing a picture of a woman in a swimsuit. And an Eskimo might get one for seeing a pretty-faced woman in a long, hooded parka. Point being, is that much of the stimulation is in the mind of the observer. So the problem is not the woman (who is being objectified here). Piling more clothing on her will not solve anything. The problem is in the sick mind of the observer. The cure for lustful thoughts is in one's head (that thing you put your shel rosh upon). Attempting to control the outside world with extreme measures is a foolish way to control one's thoughts. It is however a favored method by religious fundamentalists and extremists.

I'm all for a common sense standard of dress. But continually moving the goalpost to a greater extreme is foolish and ineffective.

Anonymous said...

That's Chabad for you -- many of the women in crown heights have real isues with tznius -- skirts above the knees or worse and long sheitles -- explain hwo the two go together. They don't unless you are trying to look like Beyonce with her luxurious hairpieces.

This Chabad lady designer said it outright -- she didn't really want to dress modestly, but Simon Jacobson hasnt said it outright yet -- that he doesnt really want to be orthodox.

Jacobson said: "I love the idea that people are attempting to bridge the two worlds"... forgetting what Chanuka was all about. Forgetting what the seudah of Achashveirosh was about-- Jews getting their kosher meals at the seudah and partaking...

AishKodesh said...

I wouldn't say that's what Chabad is.... Just some people perhaps.

Anonymous said...

So-called sinful thoughts and re/actions occur as a consequence of normal physiological (sexual) development in the male or female - not the other way round eg. that the mere sight of an immodestly dressed woman will create lewd thoughts and reactions in a man. Put another way, a starving or extremely hungry person, with a normal digestive system, will likely eat anything edible, no matter how it is presented: a well-fed person will not however salivate or have lustful food thoughts at the mere sight of food.

AishKodesh said...

Aren't we just supposed to overcome our Taavahs (and use them for good)???

Of course people -- not just women -- must dress properly. That is a Mitzvah -- also a prevention of placing a stumbling block in front of a "blind" person.

However, all the clothing in the world cannot block a non-overcome Taavah, Rachmana Litzlan.

Anonymous said...

This looks like an advertisement to me. First of all, are these ladies wearing pants in the beginning of the segment? Secondly, their premise is false. Frum women today do not look dowdy or frumpy. 20 years ago maybe, but not today. There are plenty of stores in Boro Park, Flatbush, Lakewood, Monsey that have tznius and hip/trendy clothing. I'm not sure which world these 2 gals are living in. Even Williamsburg chassidishe women today are extremely well put-together and don't look frumpy (yunchy as we used to say) by any means. And I checked out their website and actually didn't see anything there particularly unique or attractive.

Anonymous said...

The title of your post sickened me, don't know if I will continue to follow your posts. Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

aish koidesh i agree! im chabad and it kills me to see them dressed like this....

AishKodesh said...

That already shows a Maaleh about you -- you hate people dressing inproperly.... You aren't hoping that they will (Chas V'Shalom) so you can look (Chas V'Shalom).