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Matthew Ames

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A RETURN TO FORM

A good deal of buzz surrounded Matthew Ames this week, and with his ethereal collection that placed substance over style, the young award-winning designer quietly impressed. There was barely a hint of superfluous decoration to be found in his clean silhouettes of Ellsworth Kelly-inspired color-blocked organza, cotton and linen.  The bare canvas allowed the designer to show off his skill in creating structures that subtly projected from the body through curved panels and innovative seaming — a practice he calls “organic architecture”. Perhaps most impressive were pants that were constructed vertically and in the round to create a balloon shape, putting a new spin on the ubiquitous harem style.  The gentle forms comfortably and serenely enveloped the body like a cocoon, evoking Cristóbal Balenciaga’s mastery of soft architectural shapes and emanating a Zen-like appeal that was an oasis of calm in the midst of frenzied Fashion Week.

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