Paria Farzaneh Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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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 irian 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 there – demonstrating his point that there is no false pretext 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” is not 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, wandering around in a khaki fishtail skirt curved up to the ankle with a central utility pocket and a gray-white checkered zip-up camp shirt.

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: his 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 both men and women got similar shirts, cargo pocket shorts and bobs printed with these iconic markers. Meanwhile, in a semantic twist readable only in her collector’s notes, she reformulated the name from a “bomber” to “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 broke the fourth wall between true, false and hilarious meta with every stint of his Red Carpet Balenciaga show. Francesco Risso did it by involving the whole audience in his happening Marni. Pierpaolo Piccioli attempted to break the elite setup 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 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 – are integral to this great critique of the absurd 20th century manners that persist in much of the entertainment industry. 21st century fashion.


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