The invite to Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s show suggested a guerrilla-style format. It was to take place at the East River Track; there would be “democratic” seating on bleachers, with its regular patrons working out at the outdoor public fitness center. It also promised a surprise live performance, which turned out to be no less than a newly blonde Solange Knowles whispering angelic harmonies as background music for the runway. Needless to say, it was a stark contrast to last season’s show at the posh Guggenheim Museum.
The change of venue also signaled a shift in the brand’s sartorial development as well. There was more variety in the silhouettes and greater use of embellishment and fabric play. As part of the image she submitted for WWD’s designer inspirations roundup before fashion week, Zadeh alluded to this change, saying the collection reflected “a sense of disconnection from customary relations.” She’s become known for her artfully crafted vision of quirky sophistication, leaning on elevated minimalist silhouettes and a great sense of color. Here, she played with sequin embellishments on dresses and denim, topstitching on fluid skirts, crinkled metallic and trend-driven puff sleeves. It didn’t quite blend cohesively, but there were plenty of standouts. Trousers with color-blocked accents at the waist were cool and relaxed, a glossy trench was great for transitional weather, and a neon lime dress was classic MNZ — artsy, fun and offbeat.