From the cotton fields of Benin in West Africa to the high-end craftsmanship of Italian manufacturers — with a stop in northeast Brazil — Stella Jean portrayed an imaginative multicultural voyage with her spring collection.
Bahia-inspired flounced skirts were matched with the brand’s signature mannish shirts, their striped motifs appearing also on V-neck tops with exaggerated sleeves, high-waist skirts and a lightweight trench coat. Organic cotton from Benin was embellished with tropical embroideries on a blouse worn with a maxi skirt, while azulejo patterns, images of parrots and trims with wild animal motifs were combined on an off-the-shoulder maxi frock and a flared skirt worn with a bikini top, its straps embellished by ruffles. An homage to the Brazilian and African traditions, scenes of women dressed in flamboyant local dresses were hand-painted and embroidered on a bustier evening dress with a voluminous skirt.
There was certainly a lot going on in the collection, however Jean managed to deliver it all with a coherent, contemporary sensibility.