Farzaneh shows spirit of resistance at London Fashion Week

Amersham (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Young British designer Paria Farzaneh transported London Fashion Week to the English countryside on Sunday for a catwalk show inspired by the spirit of resistance.

The 26-year-old gathered her guests in the Chilterns Hills, northwest of the capital, where models advanced across a field through clouds of smoke, ready to face the elements in pocketed camouflage jackets and hoods.

It was one of only a few LFW shows this season with a real-life audience, thanks to coronavirus restrictions on mass gatherings, but its idyllic setting clashed with its defiant message.

"In the last few months, the world as we know it has seen great resistance, upset and realisations," the brand said in a statement, citing the "troubles" in the United States, including fires and anti-racism protests that directly affected two of its collaborators.

"As a brand and community, we have always believed in our world and its people.

"We cannot force people to change their mindset and their beliefs, but we can plant the seed for a new perspective; we can start the process, we can start the conversations."

Born to Iranian immigrant parents and raised in Yorkshire, in northern England, Farzaneh likes to surprise her audiences.

Last January in London, her catwalk show -- staged the day after the Iranian top commander General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US air strike in Iraq -- mimicked a traditional Iranian wedding.

The women were asked to sit on one side, the men on another, to witness an exchange of vows by a young couple speaking Farsi.

But there was no formal attire for the models who instead showcased a streetwear collection with the elegant floral and Persian prints that the designer has become known for.

Her sense of theatre and detail has put Farzaneh, who graduated from Ravensbourne University in London in 2016, on the fashion map.

She has already collaborated with major labels like Gore Tex and Converse and was a semi-finalist in the running for last year's prestigious LVMH prize.

Through her collections Farzaneh -- whose grandfather was a tailor in Iran -- explores her origins and celebrates multiculturalism.

Highly conscious of the environmental impact of the fashion industry, she has in the past used polyester and nylon made from recycled plastic bottles or fishing nets.