Paria Farzaneh: Menswear Spring/ Summer 2019
For the cultural melting pot that London as a city represents, there’s only a few Middle Eastern identities celebrated at London Fashion Week Men’s. The NEWGEN designer Paria Farzaneh is one of those few. Yorkshire-born, London-based but rooted deeply in Iranian culture, Paria embodies the pride of personal heritage, with her work serving as a constant celebration of not only where she is now, but also where she came from. After presenting her collection in an Iranian restaurant in West London last season, Paria parked a lorry on a large green space tucked between the brutalist architecture of the National Theatre and the Waterloo bridge. One of the four sides were taken down, revealing an elaborate set recreating traditional Middle-Eastern scenarios. A sand dune, a fruit market, a grooming space… It could have easily been a film set. The sunkissed models (yes, the London weather worked in someone’s favour for once) and the upbeat Middle Eastern melodies literally transported as thousands of miles away from the South Bank. Mundanity might have been the atmosphere, but the clothes were definitely not – elaborate hand-printed fabrics from Iran, that have now become the designer’s signature, embellished otherwise sturdy, classical Menswear silhouettes. Finished off with custom Converse in matching prints, the final look was a harmonious merging of new and old. We already know Frank Ocean is a big fan of Paria Farzaneh, but he will have to fight us off in order to get first dibs on this stellar collection.