A fleeting moment, or rather woman, involving immigration police at a Parisian airport was the catalyst for Kobi Halperin’s spring collection. An African woman, beautiful and vibrantly dressed, holding a little boy, was being escorted away by officers. Who is she? Why is she being escorted away? It was a special, albeit sad, moment for Halperin, who began to realize the depth of movement in the world and how we can never know a stranger’s story.
Exploring local African-centric markets in Paris, Halperin was inspired by the culture he saw pervading not only Europe, but the world. The makeup, body drawings, and braided hair treatments were so inspirational that Halperin used them to inform the intricate embroidery throughout his collection of separates heavy on blouses and dresses. Textiles were created from scratch, with embroidered yarn on mesh grids, giving the appearance of fully fashioned knitwear. Halperin is an artist in his ability to craft such detailed patterns, mixing fabrics as a way to create richness and depth. Eyelets were mixed with lace and embroidery, raffia with knitwear, heavy lace with Chantilly. The pieces had movement, lightness, and a graphic element that felt romantic. The cultural inspiration was soft, but mixed modern European dressing with African heritage.