NEW YORK, June 21, 2017
by Tiziana Cardini
Conversations with Stella Jean are always interesting, yet you can’t help but get the impression that the world’s weight sits heavily on her shoulders. In the past, she has often charged her fashion message with intense political undertones, as if, in order to be meaningful, it needed to be justified by some higher purpose. This is very tricky territory, especially now, when social and political issues are making us all so concerned and worried; more than ever, they’ve got to be treated by designers with the utmost care and sensitivity.
For Resort, probably aware of the matter, Jean infused a welcome lightness into the collection, not only in meaning but also in style. She kept her strong points at the core—the reworked folk patterns, the vibrant colors, the full circle skirts, the shirtdresses—but she infused her signatures with a playful spirit. Case in point was her choice of a funny print depicting ducks, which ran around a long, tiered dress and a midi pencil skirt paired with a striped tee. It was inspired by a 19th-century Russian painting she found by chance.
Animals hold symbolic power in the Haitian culture that Jean, having family ties, knows so well. She was drawn to the Canadian artist Christopher Griffin’s abstract paintings of monkeys, which she translated as a motif on boxy jackets, graceful tiered dresses, and shorts. Lions, toucans, and fish were mixed with stripes, kente patterns, and masculine checks; shapes were kept simple and wearable. The lineup looked flexible, of the everything-goes-with-everything variety; the vibe was optimistic and fresh.
Cardini, Tiziana. “Resort 2018 Stella Jean.” Vogue.com. New York, 21 June. 2017. Web