Based in Paris, Iranian designer Araz Fazaeli has always sought to unite Western codes of couture with the rich subtleties of the Middle East, understanding that it is a world newly open to possibilities. Like many Iranian designers, Fazaeli’s focus is on beauty, rather than making political statements. This is not elitist or vain, but a desire to shift the conversation towards the Iran’s artistic potential that is very often overshadowed by its negative image in the mainstream media. Signature to the designer are poetic and philosophical collections filled with Persian folklore and symbolism, approached from a modern playful angle. This fall, the designer pays homage to the ancient crafts of Iran. Craft Never Dies brings the shapes and drapes of centuries old Iranian artisanship to life, grounded and worn anew.
The collection re-animates the relationship between elegant dressing and Iranian codes of tradition, featuring Persian tapestry and geometric motifs of Baluchistan in a hue of blue, silver, yellow and bordeaux. Velvet ribbons cross the torso of a silver satin-cuir top, adorned with reoccurring geometric Baluchi-embroidered motifs in copper and rose. Worn with a layered skirt, they form a geometric puzzle together. A Baluchi pattern is cut in two; one is placed on the second layer of the skirt, while the other is found on the bottom of the adorned top. Moving the pattern on the skirt toward the top with the ropes attached to the pieces, the puzzle completes itself, forming a bloom in the center and turns the pieces in to a dress. This transformative element is found throughout the entire collection, hinted by layered details and the geometric Baluchi pattern.
A cashmere overcoat collar is decorated with cut-outs of Persian tapestry. Each Farsh Manteau is unique. Exclusively available at Boutique Les Suites, customers are offered a variety of patterns of silk woven Persian tapestries from Qom, allowing customisation of each Manteau. The omnipresence of the Persian carpet is confirmed with a statement tapestry vest adorned with two horizontal rows of copper pearls on its torso, beautifully highlighting the contrasting materials. Reminiscent of the Hall of Mirrors of Golestan Palace is the blue Talaar skirt that can be worn in nine different ways, by using the magnetic buttons that are discretely placed on the garment. This piece first appeared in Fazaeli’s Qajar-inspired collection, in which he already understood that women are multifaceted beings, wanting to make clothes that adapts to their diverse daily lives.
Intricate handmade earrings, brooches and bracelets of rose gold, silver and mineral stones such as Agate and Lapis designed by Solmaz Panahi, translate the mood of the garment’s subtleties. Leather and plexi clutches made by the masterful hands of Daniel Mirzapour add a sense of modernity to the looks, perfectly balancing the concept of tradition and innovation. This collaborative aspect of the collection is testament to Fazaeli’s strong desire to bring together other talented Iranian artists and designers around the world, to collectively introduce the Iranian aesthetic eye to the West. An endeavour that he also passionately pursues outside the role of fashion designer, as chief editor of influential Fashion & Lifestyle platform The Tehran Times.
The collection was presented in the form of an exhibition, during Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 16/17, at the exquisite Boutique Les Suites and was extended for its grand success. With only a third collection on the way, Fazaeli has already established himself among a distinguished crowd, varying from Paris’ most stylish to royalty. What makes these garments unique, is their source of inspiration that translate in to new shapes and patterns, reflecting a kind of Iranian elegance that is- from philosophy to the exquisite textiles- carefully and exclusively created by the designer himself. Araz Fazaeli is currently working on his upcoming collection “Backgammon: A Game Of Skill and Strategy”, which will be presented in Paris at the Eclectic Studio, this October 5th.