Paria Farzaneh sees herself more as “a storyteller” than a designer and for fall 2020 she told a tale of cultural heritage by beginning her show with a traditional Iranian wedding ceremony, held on the stage of the East London boys’ school she chose as her venue, where male and female guests were asked to sit on separate sides of each room.
“It was a moment to bring people together to celebrate a happy time and put people in a position where they would never normally be,” said the designer, who was a finalist for last year’s LVMH Prize.
The bride wore a traditional white lace dress and sat in the background throughout the show watching over the models, while the groom, in a tracksuit and paisley-print hooded jacket, left his bride post-ceremony to walk down the catwalk.
He was followed by a series of other models dressed in a variation on his look: baggy tracksuit bottoms in neutral hues, paired with anoraks or hooded jackets.
Striking paisley prints, made using traditional woodblock techniques and referring to the designer’s Iranian heritage, featured heavily throughout the collection.
Farzaneh’s storyline was intriguing and gave food for thought on community, gender dynamics and tradition. But it felt disjointed from the sporty, casual lineup, which was too repetitive of the same styles and silhouettes.