Stella Jean’s Fall Winter 17/18 collection is her interpretation on the Cold War and the relationship between the United States and Russia. The collection has a modern twist on accessories like babushkas, embroidery, and fur hats. Heavy layers, colors, and scenes of pastures clearly depicted the inspiration for the collection. The blend of Russian and American old-world styles allow for a playful take on history.
Stella Jean Backstage with MAC Cosmetics
Blue is the main makeup highlight for this runway show. Michele Magnani, Senior Makeup Artist at Mac Cosmetics described this choice ‘blue is the color fo the sky that unites us all’. It is also one of the eyeshadow colors that goes well with every skin tone and diversity was a key feature of this runway show from Stella Jean
The inspiration of the Cold War is clearly depicted through the military medals, tiles and Russian paintings on dresses and sweaters. Skirts can transform into dresses, and dresses into skirts, pieces being versatile as they would be during wartime. The muses for the designer were Katherine Johnson and Roza Yegorovna Šanina.Johnson was a physicist and mathematician who became famous for her role in NASA’s space program, and Šanina was a WWII Russian markswoman. Stella herself comes from two different worlds, that she incorporates together to make one signature fashion brand. Each of Stella’s collections are based on the same structure of a narrative and should tell a story. It is usually an inner journey to find an identity and balance, and focusing on women’s empowerment. The slogan “One, No One and One Hundred Thousand Kilometers” was on dresses and t-shirts, but is also a novel, written by Luigi Pirandello, about finding your true self.
Assaad Khalaf who is a recent graduate of the Academy of Costume & Fashion in Rome, but is from Syria, collaborated on the accessories in the collection. Stella herself describes him as an example of resilience. He says this may be small, but for him it is the chance to share with the world that Syria is more than terrorism. The link between Russia and the United States government is a current topic, so Stella decided to use her skills and showcase her thoughts on the issue. With lots to unpack within the collection, it is a beautiful, wearable collection nonetheless.
Written by Paige Peterson – Photography @TheDollsFactory