Nellie Partow’s parents left Iran after the 1979 revolution. She was born shortly after that, but was never able to visit. “When I started the series, I was immersed in everything that was going on there,” she said. “It’s weird that both your parents are from a certain country and you can never visit, so it’s all very close to home.” Patou has always been fascinated by ancient Persepolis, and focused on sculpture and relief images from that era. “The carvings have such an incredible history and are so beautiful. I wanted to focus on what brought me joy in Iran.”
You won’t find exquisite ancient artifacts in the Pre-Fall collection replicas, but you’ll see rich textures that seem to hold their own secret histories. A straight dress with irregular pleats and delicate pleated cap sleeves in a beautiful sky blue, flowing gently like a river. A two-tone white long-sleeve dress had a contrasting panel made of sheer, micro-pleated fabric with an odd terrain effect. Another white satin dress was woven in such a way that the fabric “snapped,” creating a beautifully crinkled surface, as if it had been wet and then left to dry. The pieces are invitations: to hold the fabric, to feel its weight, to scrutinize how each garment is made (a recurring action in Partow appointments).
Elsewhere, the designer showed her penchant for colorblocking with black and white boxy shirts and matching skirts, and more strikingly with thick striped suits. Its silhouette is modern. Single-breasted jackets were cut to mid-thigh—easy for the adventurous to wear alone—and straight-leg trousers rose just above the ankle. A dress handcrafted locally in Brooklyn was the standout knit of the season. Styled in black or white rubber Birkenstocks, the carefully edited collection reflects how women live in the real world today, with the designer keenly understanding that the freedom to dress however you want doesn’t come for granted.