Maryam Nassir Zadeh Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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“I’m a textile girl.” Maryam Nassir Zadeh brought some of her very first designs (some made with materials gifted by her good friend Susan Cianciolo) into her Lower East Side store to demonstrate that claim and show the continuity between her past and present work. Her fall 2024 collection is in part informed by a recent visit to Rajasthan—note the citrus-colored metallic-threaded Indian materials made into wispy bra-tops, delicious bags, and boxers (the It-item of summer 2023), but it also builds on themes the designer has been playing with as she continues her quest of self rediscovery.

In revisiting some of her aughties designs, Zadeh conjures not only her own back catalog, but a lost New York. Those gold-shot fabrics evoke the late ’90s era of Dosa, while the designer’s doughty independence links her to the heyday of Mulberry Street and environs where independent women-led boutiques like À Détacher and Mayle were destination spots, much as Zadeh is now on Norfolk Street.

Befitting an autumn offering there are tailored pants and peacoats. In addition, a quality jersey is used for color-blocked “sweat” separates and a padded Members Only-meets-aviator jacket. Overshirts, good for layering, are made of denim, corduroy, and suede, the latter of which also appears on fringed skirts, tops, and scarves that can be worn as garments and are styled as such in the lookbook, which was shot in the South of France. There’s an essential sunniness to Zadeh’s work and ethos, and the non-seasonal looks—mesh pop-overs, a bias-lace dress, sheer chiffon shirts with subtle color combinations—are the attention grabbers. In fact some of the dresses and knits are so airily light they are almost ghosts of garments.

As such, they relate back to MNZ’s last runway show, for spring 2023, when the designer presented mostly no-sew and ad-hoc looking ensembles (skirts that didn’t make it full circle around the body, table doily tops), using (but not cutting into) fabrics from her cherished textile collection. This was a radical move, a reset, that spoke to the art of adornment and dress as an individual and playful act. Speaking about her fall lineup, Zadeh likened some of the pieces to gift-wrapping; it’s not that they are ornate, but they do delight the eye. Zadeh’s special touch, her understanding of It-factor, has some of the same properties of fragrance, being evocative, pretty, ethereal.

MNZ achieves more with less. Zadeh’s reductionist tendencies are not, however, in service to minimalism, but to form and make. They even seem to extend to gender. “I’m putting the men in more feminine things and the women in more masculine things,” she noted. This is in keeping with the designer’s expansive mood. “It’s a full circle moment,” she said. “I’m realizing how much there is value in time—I’ve been a collector—and how elements from the past have a lot of depth, and they keep infusing my work. In a sense it feels like yesterday that I was attracted to certain things [that] now feel so sacred.” Fashion can’t save souls but it can capture the zeitgeist in ways that relate the present to what’s come before.



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