Castro Winter 2015 collection.
(photo credit: DUDI HASSON)
It’s Sunday night. Most of the country is sprawled out, warding off the humidity with air conditioning on full blast and Master Chef. The 400 or so guests of Israeli fashion house Castro’s Fall/Winter preview arrive at Hangar 11 in the Tel Aviv port decked out in their finest evening wear. There is a lot of black cloth strutted around as they sift into the darkened front room. Here, Castro executives bustle around, preparing for what is set up to be a most unusual event.
The opening reception boasts high tables and bar stools fanned out around a single microphone and large, black wall. Every detail, from the small bottles of gin labeled “Flavors of Fall” to the boxes of hand-cream-style tubes filled with different spreads labeled “Tastes of Fall” (accompanied by black dinner rolls) is tied into the new collection.
Cocktails, cameras and celebrities are everywhere. As Eti Rotter, joint CEO of Castro, makes her way to the mike, whispers mingle with the softening music. It’s been a rough few weeks for Rotter, who was recently quoted as saying that the company didn’t offer sizes above 42 because the clothing did not look good in those dimensions.
Rotter has been clearly rocked by the PR blitz and does her best to hide tears. She speaks of the new collection, the company’s dedication to innovation and local industry and, just at the end, reminds the crowd that Castro is for everyone, regardless of size or age.
The black wall behind Rotter comes to life as shutters open on a cell block (reminiscent of the Cell Block Tango in Chicago), revealing Gal Gadot dressed in black slacks and a white blouse. In a very red-light-district, peep-show-esque manner, shutters are raised and drawn on 18 boxes in turn, each revealing a different model in a different look. The vantage point is limited, as the models stay still throughout the show, revealing only the front of each look.
There is also no way to gage the movement of the fabrics, the way they look in action.
As usual, the collection is divided into Castro’s three lines, Red, Blue and Black. The first, Red, boasts trendy and colorful looks inspired by the 1970s. Bellbottoms, fringes, ponchos and maxi dresses fill the display. The men don layers of various prints, slacks and graphic tees.
Deep fall colors like olive green and Bordeaux prevail. Where the women evoke Farah Fawcett at her finest, the men seem to have recently returned from holiday in Jamaica.
The Blue line, which features Castro’s denim looks, is the least fashion forward of the three lines, and perhaps that’s a good thing. Here, the design team flaunts its ability to put out basics, which are the kingpin of Castro’s retail presence. There are plenty of denim shirts and various jean silhouettes.
Finally, the shutters open on the Black line, which boasts tons of prints, chic office options and dresses.
The men wear classic black suits, the women shirtdresses and trousers.
The show comes to a close on Gal Gadot standing in her first box in a flowing white dress.
The crowd is asked to pass through the display wall into the second part of the evening, where the fun really gets started. For the next two hours, celebrities, designers, journalists and lucky friends sit around endlessly long tables where they are treated to the conceptual culinary creations of chef Ido Garini. Before each of the four courses is served, a postcard boasting messages such as “All About Fringe” or “Patterns of Fall” is handed out. The dishes match the concept.
For fringe, the crowd prepares linguini over steaming bowls of hot water in the center of the table. For patterns, large black plates embossed with intricate designs made of curry powder are laid down.
The models make a final walk around the room, save for Gadot, who is snacking on bruschetta and chatting. Dessert is black cake served with a black, nut-filled balloon and a sharp skewer (childish shrieks go through the crowd as people begin popping their balloons). The event, which was more like a wedding than a fashion show, was so decadent, so over-the-top, so extraordinary, that the clothing seemed to have been pushed from the spotlight. That said, Castro has once again set a new bar for outstanding showmanship.
Castro’s fall collection is available in stores and online now at www.castro.com.