Tuesday 8th January

| BY Dino Bonacic

Paria Farzaneh: Menswear AW19

For the big finale of this season’s London Fashion Week Men’s, the crowds emerged into arguably the gayest of the capital’s spaces – XXL in Southwark. But instead of the usual neon flashes and dark-rooms, the dance-floor was dominated by the set. A bedroom set, a with a doorway leading onto the massive conveyor belt and a transparent rubber box. We sat down and waited, without much idea of what was to happen. Lights on – ACTION. Take note because Paria Farzanehhas got the mic, and she’s got a lot to say.

In her first catwalk show, Paria continued to push forward the Iranian heritage on which she based her brand’s aesthetic from the beginning. Despite having a brand for only a few years, she has already established her own signature print – the multicoloured paisley covered every piece of the wardrobe, from custom Converse hi-tops and backpacks to tracksuits and puffer jackets. The print was leading the way, but instead of its usual treatment, it was also covered in plastic. Inspired by her grandma’s “obsession with preserving the greatness and goodness,” by layering transparent plastic sheets over her tablecloths and packaging remote controls in cellophane. She preserved her own greatness by combining the two fabrics too, which also added an element of futurism to the traditional visual.

Yes, this collection was definitely influenced by streetwear, but the designer was clearly stepping away for the idea of tracksuits as the base of the wardrobe. “I’m over it,” she declared backstage after the show, urging the public to approach fashion in a much more put-together look. There is definite casualness about the clothes, and a dedication to comfort, but it still looks beautiful and smart. The final look, our first insight into Paria’s womenswear was a great addition to the collection – “that’s me,” she told us.

Instead of a regular finale, the models walked out of the see-through box at the end of the catwalk and against the direction of the conveyor belt, successfully fighting against the grain. Was this a metaphor for Paria’s own creative path? However cliché it might sound, we’d like to believe so.

Photography by Jason-Lloyd Evans.