As the sun burned down heavy on the last show of the last day of London Fashion Week Men's, we made our way to an enclosed grassy area near Waterloo. We came for paria/FARZANEH, the young menswear designer presenting only her second collection, this time tipped as one to watch by NEWGEN.
Shuttered trucks lined the space, opening to reveal dramatic, detailed, carefully designed sets. A homely scene, complete with candles, fruit plate and a TV made up one area. A barbershop was adjacent to a desert; tyres and reeds fronted a painted blue sky backdrop. The details were beautiful, a strikingly evocative platform for the Iranian designer.
Farzaneh drew press attention last season for her personal take on culture; her intimate portrayal of Iran challenges the often negative depictions we see in Western media. This season, her seven separate sets represented seven essential symbols in a celebration of Iranian New Year or 'Norooz'.
Whilst buyers and press alike fled to the shade, Farzaneh's army of models smoked hand rolled cigarettes, sheltered by the trucks and their bucket hats. The scene was effective, albeit a distraction from the clothes. With so much going on behind them, it was harder to notice the development in the collection itself.
The same hand-blocked prints seen at A/W 18 appeared on shorts, shirts and customised Converse. These traditional paisleys came in a simple palette of beige, red and black. They stood strong amongst the set and blended well with the khaki uniforms. This desert-ready wear saw utility trousers with removable zips, some hanging half open at the knee, louche and low - a strong proposition.
This was one of the most visually effective shows of the season. Bringing her own world to fashion week in a clime as uncertain as now is poignant. Such sensitive work as Farzaneh's deserves the attention she's drawing.