When I think of a contemporary New York girl, I see her dressed in Maryam Nassir Zadeh. And even during lockdown, she wears Zadeh’s “oddly elegant“, always authentic and never forced designs. The designer hasn’t created a runway collection since spring 2020, and the extended pause gave her the space to reset, refocus, and design closer to her own tastes, without the distractions and noise of a show. Like her recent collections, autumn-winter 2021 felt simpler and stripped back, but also sexier. The heat mostly came from a handful of miniskirts (like one in metallic leather, shown with a matching blazer) and backless, thigh-grazing party dresses. As she often does, Zadeh predicted the miniskirt comeback early on. The designer foresees her clients craving clothes that feel bolder, happier and lighter. Zadeh isn’t a moodboard-type designer, but she did make one surprise reference: Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City – the early seasons, filmed at the turn of the 2000s. Who didn’t rewatch all the episodes in the lazy quarantine days? You can glimpse SATC’s protagonist in the asymmetrical party dresses, vibrant accessories and the plucky flower pin adorning a slip. Zadeh’s interest was less in the character or TV show and more in the balance of no-frills minimalism and “spice ups,” as she put it. In our stay-home-style moment, it was easy to picture Carrie (and many of Zadeh’s customers) in the opening look: a cobalt knit set paired not with sneakers, but block-heel mules. Definitely an idea for Carrie’s 2021 wardrobe in And Just Like That…!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.