A mix of cultures and Mr. Armani's pride | Stella Jean here to stay
The Roman born designer with Caribbean roots, definitely digged down very deep into many cultures for inspiration, as she describes it - trompe-l'oeil and Métissage. She showed a bold printed collection with turbans, 60's inspired dresses, a retro feel, her signature Wax & Stripes designs and impeccable tailoring.
Wearing a "Grazie Mr. Armani" t-shirt, her first fashion show was held at the Giorgio Armani's theatre in Via Bergognone in Milan. A big hype was created around the show, even I got excited, and being on everyone’s mouth certainly put a bit of pressure on the designer but it all seemed effortless.
Armani has been of great support, especially for this one, but the designer is also part of a group of designers forming the ITC - a UN agency - The International Trade Centre's Ethical Fashion Initiative. This initiative had Stella Jean’s fabrics made and sourced from Burkina Faso. Ethnic as she calls but ”the word liberated from Western abuse and manipulators, to be returned to its authentic and far more egalitarian routes" – Stella Jean.
The collection is a journey; a vacation, and it showed this as the styling was so meticulously detailed and every look was a collection in itself. She got inspired by the Italian Dolce Vita, Vespas, feminine silhouettes and that 60s vibe in Capri and St. Tropez.
A kaleidoscope of colours, silk and prints, she made every look and garment stand out, using African & Caribbean impressions with European silhouettes as she explained. She blended and fused cultures together, and this is working well, as influential women like Franca Sozzani, have been seen wearing her designs everywhere.
Voluminous dresses and skirts, blazers, trapeze jackets, pencil skirts, long coats, blazers inspired from the British culture, Breton stripes, fishtail hemlines, tunics, Capri pants, long skirts which one would definitely wear to a big event and a green skirt with zebras which caught my eye, was fantastic. Pineapples and other fruits, the turbans and the men’s hats, jewellery and the list goes on, her models walked down with so much confidence. There is something for everyone, and every piece is particular.
She is the right designer for change, something so different from what we have seen that can cement her name into the fashion industry with the uniqueness that she possesses.