Paria Farzaneh Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Overall, since fashion gatherings resumed earlier this year, the most remarkable phenomenon has been how some designers have torn down the fourth wall between the audience and the runway.

Stepping into Paria Farzaneh’s event at the ICA in London was one such opportunity. A casually dressed crowd gathered around the bar, chatting, drinking coffee and munching on an Iranian picnic breakfast cooked by his mother, Fereshteh. It took a few minutes for him to realize that this was not the prelude to being ushered into another room to see his spring show. It was the spectacle.

“You know, the people who wear my clothes don’t really tend to be runway models,” Farzaneh shrugged, smiling with a pleasantly subversive glint in his eyes. “So I don’t do a parade. It’s my friends, the people I work with who are important to me.

Among those standing nearby – demonstrating her take that there is no false semblance of distance between Farzaneh’s collection and reality – were the designer’s boss, her accountant, a skateboarder. , a DJ friend, a boxer and two of his cousins. The regular role-playing formalities suddenly collapsed and dissolved in a social barrier crash created by Farzaneh.

It’s embarrassing to watch what strangers are wearing, and an audience isn’t supposed to talk to models. But we were all there, chatting almost like it was… normal. Not quite, of course. Farzaneh’s cast of return-to-normal behavior on the catwalks was designed to celebrate and cement the importance of human interaction in these times of pandemic. She was a part of her own invisible show herself, walking around wearing a khaki fishtail skirt curved up to the ankle with a center utility pocket and a gray and white plaid camp shirt with a zipper on the back. before.

It was part of a collection that it used to only target men, but is now starting to stand out. There were extremely flared jeans and box-pleated skirts, as well as a dress and a halter top with cartridge pockets. Something about Farzaneh’s crew seemed ready for action: hers is a re-rooted subgenre of military utility clothing that’s stamped with a block-printed signature drawn from the culture’s centuries-old artistic tradition. of his family in Isfahan, central Iran.

This season, men and women both got shirts, cargo pocket shorts and similar bobs printed with these iconic markers. Meanwhile, in a semantic twist that could only be read in her collector’s notes, she had reformulated the name of a bomber as an “anti-aircraft jacket.”

The nuance, affect and atmosphere of the designers’ attempts to mount actual confrontations with the absurdity of the runway are (ironically) impossible to convey digitally. Demna Gvasalia stepped closer as he smashed the fourth walls between true, false and hilarious meta with every appearance of his show on the Balenciaga red carpet. Francesco Risso did it by involving the whole audience in his happening Marni. Pierpaolo Piccioli attempted to break the setup of an elite insider of a traditional Valentino show by parading his collection in front of an audience on the street in Paris. To stay relevant these days, the job of a smart fashion thinker is as much about reinventing, satirizing, melting and transforming the old rules of fashion shows as it is designing new clothes.

Paria Farzaneh may be a long way from these exalted places, but she too – and so many of her generation – is an integral part of this grand critique of the absurd 20th century manners that persist in much of 21st century fashion. . industry.

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About Gail Mena

Gail Mena

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