Paria Farzaneh has built her platform London-based through a fiercely independent exploration of her Iranian heritage. The designer has used her brand as a means to challenge the western perception of Middle Eastern culture and aesthetic, by boldly blurring the lines between the two distinctly different worlds that have informed her experience. For her spring-summer 2023 fashion show, she invited her guests to Phoenix Garden, a charitably established community space. In a pre-show spiel there was talk of this collection reflecting Iran’s apparently 1.68 percent of citizens who are nomadic. Farzaneh mixes blatant ethnographic touches, almost costume, with highly sophisticated pieces that float above cultural codes; pants and shorts cut with a side-leg pleat, for instance, were fresh and new. The shroudy, geometrically cut lacy pieces were based on curtains Farzaneh remembered in her grandma’s bathroom. “I think in the fashion industry, utmost honesty is very lacking,” said the designer. So how to walk away from the table with a win in this dishonest business? The nomads of any culture who share Farzaneh’s roving curiosity, wherever they hail from, should understand her codes.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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