ArdAzAei founder and creative director Bahareh Ardakani is reaching for the stars.
Not only did she title her runway show “Midnight in the Persian Garden” with celestial elements sprinkled throughout, she’s set on launching a house complete with couture, ready-to-wear, accessories and high jewelry, all while making it sustainable.
That’s no small challenge, but the Iranian Swedish designer approached it with aplomb in her first collection shown off-calendar at the Musée des Arts et Métiers.
Referencing her roots in Iran, she infused the collection with lines and shapes that evoke the geometric gardens of ancient Persia, as well as floral motifs and aqueous, flowing flourishes.
Suits were made of woven jacquard with wide lapels and strong shoulders for a masculine touch, a gown with a velvet bustier and bow waist topped a full skirt with a purple and gold pattern evoking the house’s encircled “A” logo. A slinky silk gown had cutout detail over the midriff, while she made heavy use of pleats and draping on more fitted shapes.
A high-necked white gown with overlayed Fortuny-style pleats and a swirling design on the full skirt was one highlight.
Ardakani puts an emphasis on construction — she comes from an engineering background — and small touches, such as using amethyst gemstones as buttons to amp up the glam ever so slightly. She elevated embroidery on delicate floral patterns, but pinwheel appliqués were superfluous.
She highlights that part of this collection is certified through the Global Organic Textile Standards and she plans to present small, in-season collections to discourage trend-based over-consumption. Ardakani’s shows strength in the structure and a promising start to her vision.