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The Shape of Water: Matias Cativa's Riveting Debut at Sony Hall

Photos by Edwin Alvarado, Venus Film (Top)

In a world where fashion often treads the line between the ephemeral and the eternal, Matias Cativa's (@matcativa) debut collection, "The Shape of Water," emerged as a testament to the enduring power of artistic expression and cultural connectivity. During a Runway Seven show held at the illustrious Sony Hall, a recent Fashion Institute of Technology graduate unveiled a collection that was not only a showcase of his design prowess but also a narrative of his Argentine heritage, and a vision of fashion's fluid future.

A Deep Dive into the Inspiration Behind the Collection

The journey of Cativa's collection, as articulated by its visionary creator, is as captivating as the designs themselves. In a recent interview, Matias, who uses both he and they pronouns, shared the muse behind "The Shape of Water," revealing a rich tapestry of inspiration drawn from the ocean's multifaceted character. "My collection was inspired by the waves of the ocean, which you can see reflected in the ruffles of the clothes," Matias explains. This element of design not only captures the serene beauty of water but also its dynamic and sometimes turbulent nature. "The ocean can also be turbulent, and you find that reflected in our two dark and edgy looks," he adds, hinting at the depth and complexity of his artistic vision.

Photo by Coleen O

Photos by Matias Cativa

Moreover, Matias's innovative use of materials, such as shiny rhinestones, mimics the sparkling reflection of the sun against the water, adding a layer of sensory experience to his garments that beckons the observer to look closer. This profound connection to water, intertwined with nostalgic memories of Argentina, flows through the collection like a serene yet powerful current. "Water, for me, is a symbol that resonates with my soul. I see myself as pure water, embodying its fluidity, purity, and transformative power," Matias shares. This connection is further deepened by the symbolic hues and shapes of the Argentine flag, infusing each piece with a tribute to the spirit of his homeland.

"Every piece I designed carried a piece of my homeland, a dialogue between my roots and my present, a fusion of memory and creation," Matias reflects. His narrative weaves a story that transcends the physicality of garments, turning the collection into a medium through which his art and soul speak to the world.

The Synergy of Vision: The Cativa-Molina Collaboration

The allure of the "The Shape of Water" collection was significantly amplified by the synergistic collaboration between Carlos Molina, a master shoe designer, and Cativa. Molina's creations, known for their impeccable craftsmanship, perfectly complemented Cativa's visionary garments, elevating the entire aesthetic to new heights.

Photos by Carlos Molina @carlosmolinany

One of the most remarkable highlights of this collaboration was the presentation of the Talia boots. These signature pieces by Carlos Molina seamlessly melded with Cativa's innovative designs. Known for their versatility across all sizes, the boots were introduced in a mesmerizing silver, embodying the collection's theme with their luminous, fluid design. The choice of the Talia boots not only brought harmony to Cativa's outfits but also accentuated the overall presentation, making an indelible mark on the runway. This selection of footwear underscored the collaboration's dedication to pioneering new frontiers in fashion, merging comfort, style, and adaptability.

Reflecting on the collaboration, Molina shared, "This partnership, envisioned over five years ago, has now come to fruition, marking a historic day not just for me, but for Matias as well." His words were filled with pride and anticipation for what he described as a pivotal moment in fashion.

Molina views Cativa as a beacon of the future, stating, "In a city, in a world that's constantly in search of the next Marc Jacobs, the next Zac Posen, Matias stands out. He's not just a designer to watch; he's a force poised to redefine the industry. I believe in Matias's potential to leave a mark, and I'm committed to being a part of his journey."

This collaboration underscored a harmonious fusion of footwear and fashion, highlighting a mutual respect and shared vision for innovation. Molina's expertise in shoe design, combined with Cativa's fresh, artistic approach, crafted a compelling narrative of mutual admiration. Together, they stand as a united front in exploring new horizons in fashion, signaling the dawn of a transformative era.

Additionally, all jewelry showcased in the presentation was meticulously handcrafted using a melting kiln furnace by the Bronx-based designer, Liliana Rivera (@lilianariveradesigns)

Photo by Jashton Best

Audience and Model Perspectives on the Collection

The profound impact of the collection was vividly brought to life through the enthusiastic responses from those who witnessed and participated in it firsthand. Models who graced the runway with Cativa's designs shared their personal insights, adding depth to the overall experience. X Alexander, (@theabstraxtionistt) one of the models, vividly described participating in Cativa's show as a "cinematic experience," highlighting the empowering and confidence-boosting nature of the event. This portrayal underscores the transformative power of Cativa's designs, not just in aesthetics but in the emotional resonance they carry.

Angel Radicci (@angelradicci), hailing from Argentina, contributed an additional layer of depth by emphasizing the cultural significance of the collection. His statement, "super inspiring on our culture," speaks volumes about the pride and empowerment derived from showcasing their shared heritage on a global platform. This perspective showcases the collection's ability to transcend fashion, becoming a beacon of cultural pride and inspiration.

The audience's reaction further amplified the collection's allure, with many noting its remarkable versatility. Envisioned as equally at home in the sophisticated settings of high-end New York City events as in more eclectic environments, the collection was praised for its ability to adapt and inspire across diverse contexts. Its ethereal quality and versatile appeal captivated those in attendance, leaving a lasting impression of a collection that transcends conventional boundaries, embodying a blend of elegance, adaptability, and cultural homage.

A Vision for the Future

Looking ahead, Matias envisions Cativa evolving into a brand synonymous with artistic beauty and innovation. "This is just the beginning. The Cativa brand will continue to explore the boundaries of fashion, bringing to life creations that reflect a deep well of creativity," he anticipates eagerly.

With plans to expand his brand globally and a commitment to made-to-order fashion, Matias stands on the brink of a promising future, ready to immerse the world in the depths of his artistic vision.


To explore more of Matias's innovative designs and Cativa's latest collections,

Photos by Colleen O



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