Stella Jean collections’ positive vibes and joyful mood are forever uplifting. Her latest offering – a mixed men and womenswear Spring Summer 2017 “As simple as a ball is” line – is a lively set of wearable pared back designs that carry a special meaning.
Inspired by the uniting power of a single sport’s game – football – that sees no barriers of any kind between people, Stella Jean parallels fashion, another global language, and the inclusive meaning of it.
Football becomes one of the components within Jean’s blend of cultures and traditions. The game’s insignia manifests as the captain’s armbands on the sleeved garments and SJFC coats of arms embellishments. Jersey and organza t-shirt and vintage striped football polos are a fresh and modern update on a sporty classic.
The initial reflections on football were triggered by designer’s trip to Myanmar, which culture and local traditions provided for another inspirational element of the collection. The disarray of markets, Yangon teahouses, traditional Burmese dress and the nature of Southeast Asia left a remarkable impression on the designs. The draped dresses, knots and wrap skirts echo the recognisable pattern of the sarong, while the fauna of the region is depicted in vivid prints, fabric paintings and embroidery of roosters, herons, swans and carps on cotton and silk.
The defining figure of Myanmar’s democracy, the graceful and refined Aung San Suu Kyi and the atmosphere of the diplomatic receptions of 1940s within the region served as a combined inspiration for the fluid long dresses and 40s style blouses and drop-waist frocks. In addition, the era appropriate pleating appears on shorts, dresses and skirts.
The geek chic number, a lesson in layering excellency so characteristic to Stella Jean, is an example of cultural and time crossover, where the aforementioned pleated skirt is finished in printed fabric, the motif of which is inspired by the works of Haitian artist Préfète Duffaut – another ingredient in this multicultural fusion put together by Stella Jean, whose Caribbean roots always find a way to manifest in her work with pride.
The designer’s signature hybridization of Italian tailoring with African and Caribbean themes was demonstrated within one of the final looks of the collection: a well-cut elegant black suit with painted and lavishly embellished bird motif paired with green raffia slippers decorated with Masai inspired beads on top.
African touch in footwear line has also seen flats and low-heeled sabot with a bow in striped fabric, loom hand made in Burkina Faso, while all of the presented jewellery was produced in Haiti.
The lighthearted amalgamation of cultures, styles and influences results in a well-balanced fresh and very appealing spring-summer collection by Stella Jean, who continues to present a unique selection of looks that have no language, or any other for that matter, barriers.
by Olga Permyakova
Photos: courtesy of Stella Jean