Maryam Nassir Zadeh RESORT 2021
Maryam Nassir Zadeh didn’t cut a single new garment for resort. Instead, she put together a “hand-picked” collection of items from the past, reimagined and recontextualized for now. Years and seasons collapse in many of the looks: A white button-down from fall 2020 was styled with an ivory leather skirt from spring 2020; a pair of striped shorts circa spring 2019 were paired with a fall 2020 knee-high boot, redone here with a black lace shaft. Bikinis and strappy bras, often styled alone as tops—a look New York women have replicated during this summer’s heatwave—nodded to her swim-heavy spring 2018 show.
Zadeh resurrected these items not just because they deserve a second look or feel newly relevant, but also because it seemed like a more sustainable way of doing things. In their walk down memory lane, Zadeh and her team only chose pieces they knew they had enough leftover fabric to make. They didn’t want to invest in making new patterns or ordering silks and wools from Italy: “It isn’t even just about sustainability in recycled materials, it’s about sustainability of time,” Zadeh said on a call from Los Angeles. “We never have enough time to order new fabrics from Italy, and the turnaround times [between collections] are so short.”
Zadeh didn’t predict the pandemic, but she was feeling uneasy about the industry’s speed and rigid calendar back in February, when she skipped New York Fashion Week to attend a close friend’s wedding in Africa. Plenty of designers would have sacrificed the life event, not the media attention and page views. But stepping back gave Zadeh an opportunity to strip away what felt non-essential and imbue a more personal touch in the clothes. The results were simpler, but also a lot closer to Zadeh’s own nuanced style.
Resort was a bigger step in that direction, and something of a microcosm of the designer’s current obsessions. Her sensitivity to what’s “in the air” means we’ll soon be obsessed, too. On the list are: shorter hemlines, colorful silk button-downs, men’s shirts and tailoring, anything lace, and embellished belts, styled here as “spice ups” on otherwise simple jersey dresses. “There’s a real personality and style to the collection,” Zadeh said. “It’s easy and wearable, but still special, because we’re mixing these strong basics with novelty accessories.” In the past, Zadeh has described that MNZ balance as “odd elegance.” That still rings true, but its becoming cleaner and more casual, even tomboyish, of late. “I’m feeling less ‘pretty,’ and more of a timeless, cool, and relaxed look.”
MNZ obsessives will indeed see resort as a grab-bag of timeless, cool, and relaxed outfit ideas, especially if they got any of these pieces the first time around. More broadly, though, it’s a collection that feels connected to what’s happening in the world and how women want to dress for these uncertain times. It’s neither fussy nor shapeless; the two poles of “where fashion is going”—fantasy or extreme hygge—seem illogical to Zadeh. “There has to be some sort of blend in the middle,” she said. “I love a really special, crazy piece, but if it’s too crazy, how often are you going to wear it? I just want to fall in love something. I’m curious to see what happens next.”
See every single look from Maryam Nassir Zadeh RESORT 2021 collection in the gallery, below :