Paria Farzaneh needed a huge space to ignite the physically and emotionally explosive fashion experience for her spring 2021 collection. So she picked Missenden farm on the outskirts of the historical English town of Amersham, about an hour from central London.
Guests were seated on blue dots on the edge of the farmland in order to obey social distancing rules — and safely away from the pyrotechnics.
Facing a world Farzaneh wouldn’t recognize anymore, she wanted her guests “to feel, to smell, to hear and to taste” millions of people’s struggle and to push for a change.
The show started with a series of explosions and fireworks across the vast land. Models emerged from the woods through the smoke, first forming a diamond shape in the middle, then walking together toward the audience.
Those explosions represented the chaos in this world, especially the wildfire raging on the West Coast of the U.S., and police suppression against peaceful protesters throughout America, the designer said. Her knitwear collaborator was forced to evacuate her home from those fires, and her invitation designer was caught in the thick of police brutality in Chicago.
Farzaneh presented men’s and women’s looks. Most of them are reinterpretations of streetwear staples. Editor Caroline Issa was sporting a sleeveless camouflage dress with military pockets, while others were styled to look like marchers in any protest for freedom and human rights. Some wore balaclavas to avoid facial-recognition cameras, while others wore thick gloves to fight back police.