“And Just Like That,” HBO’s revival of “Sex and the City,” has arrived, and the inimitable Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, wears an Israeli-designed, hand-embroidered Maskit caftan for the opening episode.
“It’s a huge honor and my personal dream is being fulfilled,” said Sharon Tal, Maskit’s head designer, who enacted a reboot of her own eight years ago, bringing back the historic fashion house and its intricate ethnic embroidery. “I grew up on ‘Sex and the City’ and the style that Carrie Bradshaw brought to each episode.”
The two women met in Israel in 2019 when Parker visited the Maskit store and studio, then in Jaffa.
Designer Tal relaunched Maskit in 2014 with the help of Ruth Dayan — the widow of famed general Moshe Dayan — who created the label in the early 1950s in order to offer work opportunities for new immigrants to Israel from Yemen, Morocco and other eastern lands.
Dayan had discovered the embroidery skills of the women, and with the help of Hungarian-born designer Fini Leitersdorf, took the styles of the times and embellished cloaks and tunics, caftans and dresses with traditional embroidery.
Parker became a fan of the renowned designer label, wearing the mythological Maskit desert cloak during a visit to Dublin, and a purple M by Maskit dress to the premiere of the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Broadway show in Times Square.
When Parker began working on the “And Just Like That, A New Chapter of Sex in the City” reboot, Tal said, the actress texted her, saying she wanted to create a dress for the opening episode.
They did it over Zoom, including collaborative meetings and fittings, because of the travel restrictions demanded by COVID-19.
The caftan, with a turquoise peacock spreading its wings across its front, was designed by Tal in close collaboration with Parker and the show’s head stylist, Molly Rogers, over the course of several months.
“I’m so proud of our results,” said Tal.
Now the designer is making a ready-to-wear top inspired by the caftan and detailed embroidery to be sold in the Maskit pop-up shop that opened recently in Soho in Manhattan, on 74 Wooster Street.
The shop includes Maskit couture and bridal wear, as well as off-the-rack pieces.
The opening of the 170-square-meter pop-up was timed with the December 8 premiere of the HBO show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which Tal attended.
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the clothing designer.
When Maskit first became one of Israel’s first popular exports in the 1950s, it was featured in Vogue and sold in Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, with a store in New York and 10 in Israel.
Now the brand is back in New York City, and being worn by Parker in her role as Bradshaw, the ultimate Manhattanite.
“It’s another step in our expansion,” said Tal. “I really believe this is just the beginning.”