To say Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Spring 2018 show saved NYFW is a tad dramatic, but not super far from the truth. Her guerrilla style show took place at the East River Park track, showgoers sat on the metal benches without seating assignments, or rather first come, first serve. Runners and soccer players using the park during the show were a welcome dose of reality during a week where fantasy is often the message designers want to convey.
While the collection was not as cohesive as other designers aim for, or even Maryam’s in the past, I do think this collection more reflects the way her customer shops. She buys pieces, not full looks, to mix and match. The styling in the show is merely a suggestion in order to adhere to the eclectic MNZ tribe when you can only afford a top or a pair of pants, or even the shoes. Artsy, colorful, non-sexy sexy, are all words I would use to describe her often copied collections (remember she famously called out Mansur Gavriel for copying her mule?). But for Spring, Maryam took her collection further and is challenging her customer a bit out of her comfort zone with more on trend, embellished, feminine pieces. I loved her take on the puff sleeve trend that is going strong for Fall. Solange Knowles sang as Maryam’s model friends walked the track confidently. Maryam’s collections just feel real, and showing her clothes in the world, even on a track, emphasizes the “reality” of her brand.