Stella Jean Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2014 Milan
Stella Jean's fashion trade, like the historic silk road between Italy and the Far East, always begins in her mother's island nation of Haiti, a part of her she holds very dear.
This fall winter women's collection followed suit. The starting point for the line's building blocks were Japanese Kabuki theater and kimono silhouettes, but Jean's flair for colonized Southern Hemisphere-area prints and symbols like the rooster, were evidenced in her signature tribal patterns and hand-stitched embroidery.
"I'm close to my father's Italian culture too, but [given her upbringing in Italy] Haiti is the weaker culture. You really need to cultivate the weaker culture," Jean told Now Fashion, adding that she strives to express Haiti's soulful folklore, art and music in her designs.
Models with side-swept hair, ponytails and short bangs wore 1950's era pencil skirt dresses and flaired skirts matched with dropped shoulder striped mohair jackets and belted blazers -- conjuring the all-girls collegiate style of Smith College during poet Sylvia Plath's heydey.
The collection was amped up by some 30 pumps created exclusively for the show by French maison Christian Louboutin. Pointed heels and killer ankle boots were fashioned with Jean's waxed fabrics and Burkina Faso tribal prints, woven by artisan women there as a part of the United Nations ITC Ethical Fashion project.
A symbol of good fortune and ambition, the Japanese koi fish also enriched 1950's style dresses and were depicted in ponds on the front of skirts.
Indeed, the LVMH for Young Fashion Designer Prize finalist is on the up -- receiving rave reviews from the world's toughest fashion critics and gracing the pages of vanguard magazines with her designs.
What sets Jean apart from other Italian designers is her rich mix of cultures and the amount of herself she puts into her collections. Like the best screenplays rooted in a personal story or struggle, Stella Jean's collections are sure to continue to evoke emotion and captivate her audience for more seasons to come.
Watch the show!