Partow Pre-Fall 2023 Collection | Vogue

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Nellie Partow’s parents left Iran in 1979 after the revolution. She was born shortly after that, but has never been able to visit. “When I started the collection, I was immersed in everything going on there,” she said. “It’s strange having both your parents come from a certain country, and never being able to visit, so it’s all hitting close to home.” Partow had always been fascinated by ancient Persepolis, and looked to images of sculptures and reliefs of the era. “There’s such an incredible history in the carvings, so much beauty. I wanted to focus on something that brought me joy in Iran.”

You won’t find reproductions of exquisite ancient relics in the pre-fall collection, but you will see rich textures that seem to hold their own secret histories. An irregularly pleated column gown with delicately gathered cap sleeves in a beautiful shade of azure flowed softly like a river. A two-tone white long-sleeve dress had a contrasting panel made from a sheer micro pleated fabric for a strangely topographical effect. Another white satin dress was woven so that the fabric would “catch,” creating a handsome wrinkled surface, as if it had been wet and left to dry. These pieces were invitations: to hold the fabric, to feel its weight, to closely inspect how each garment was made (a recurring action at Partow appointments).

Elsewhere, the designer showcased her penchant for color-blocking with a black and white boxy blouse and a matching skirt, and more winningly, a thick striped suit. Its silhouette was modern. The single-breasted jacket was cut to hit at mid-thigh—and could easily be worn by itself by those with adventurous style—and the straight trousers hit slightly above the ankle. A dress hand-made locally in Brooklyn was the standout knit of the season. Styled with black or white rubber Birkenstocks, the tightly edited collection reflects the way women live today out in the real world by a designer who keenly understands that the freedom to dress as you wish is not one to be taken for granted.

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