Sunday 20th September

| BY Paul Toner

Paria Farzaneh: Menswear SS21

Getting to the Paria Farzaneh show today was no easy feat. An overground, two tubes, another 35-minute train and a short mini-bus journey later, and we arrived at the luscious green fields of Missenden Farm, Amersham. You could say this was fashion’s answer to what it feels like to trek to an illegal rave – yet instead, the address was dropped days before and followed by an abundance of frantic PR emails ensuring everyone was to get there safe and sound.

This was London Fashion Week’s only “proper” fashion show this season, yet nothing like we’re used to seeing. Given a goody bag upon arrival containing hand sanitiser, a bottle of juice and a face mask in Farzaneh’s signature Ghalamkar print, guests were sat on socially-distanced blue dots as drones swarmed the sky.

Collection Number 6 kicked off with a bang, quite literally, as a series of pyrotechnics and fireworks interrupted the countryside bliss. This was Farzaneh’s reflection of the chaos that currently sweeps America, in particular, the police brutality inflicted on protesters against racial injustice and the terrible wildfires that rage along the West Coast.

The country’s troubles hit close to home for Farzaneh, whose invitation designer Clare was pepper-sprayed in Chicago and Steph, who helped create this season’s knitwear, was forced to flee her home due to the fires. The designer invited guests “to feel, to smell, to hear and to taste,” such experiences that are of everyday normality for countless bodies worldwide.

Emerging from the forest came Farzaneh’s army, who formed in a diamond shape before storming through the plains of grass; braving this new world shielded in this season’s armour. They came in semi-opaque windbreakers in maroon and neon yellow, chunky denim with contrast stitching and wipe-clean combats in chocolate brown.

Acidic hued shirts and trousers dripped in a new melting monogram for the brand, accessorised with balaclavas and sturdy gloves. This season Farzaneh had her first proper go at womenswear, with ankle-length camouflaged dresses and a military-style ball gown dotted with pockets being particular standouts. An unsettling fashion show amidst unprecedented times – Paria Farzaneh prepared a uniform for the uncertainties of tomorrow.

Photography by Chris Yates.

pariafarzaneh.com