Ready-to-wear isn’t Matan Shaked’s typical fare in the design studio, but it was the style he chose to tackle for his NYFW debut. Primarily known for crafted wedding dresses and custom haute couture gowns, Israel’s fashion wunderkind came to America laden with delicate skirts, billowing trousers, and even the occasional revealing top. Essentially, he took a hint from all those post-minimalists taking the style reins and gave decadent street style an arid touch. One of the chief accomplishments of his collection is its ability to excellently capture not just the desert, but that powerful spaciousness one feels when stretched out on the sand. Never too similar but always closely joined, billowing gowns and trousers alike managed to evoke atmospheres like the universe of Mad Max without resigning to apocalyptic measures. Even the unusual jewelry, metallic gold headdresses, seemed more natural than mechanical despite its wiry character.
And of course, there the flowers. Carefully embellishing sleeves and adorning bodices, the muted desert flower was a constant theme for Matan Shaked and appropriately so given the name of his show. Yet, after talking with the designer, we know there’s more behind his florals than trends and design. America is the ultimate blossom in Shaked’s crown of achievements so far. It is, it seems, part of his exuberant display for New York. There is a sense of raw transparency about this fresh collection, physically scattered with see-through tops and metaphorically through the desert theme. When you can illustrate your life story and combine stark futurism with the earthy regality of ancient times, you’re getting somewhere. Somehow, I sense Matan Shaked will be the man to finally capture the ultimate marriage of past and present in a runway collection.
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