Stella Jean: Power in Prints

One of the major trends emerging from the Spring runways (namely Milan) is the mixing and matching of prints. As someone very likely to pair multi-coloured stripes and over-sized florals herself, this definitely made me smile. After seeing Stella Jean’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection however, I nearly jumped for joy!

The Haitian-Italian designer embraces her multiculturalism, making it the driving force behind her designs. Calling it her “Wax and Stripes Philosophyā€¯, Stella finds inspiration in the wax fabrics from her mother’s Haitian heritage and the stripes from her father’s Italian shirts. Further influenced by vintage photos of her mother and grandmother, Stella’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection is brimming with an air of playfulness that is simply infectious. Mismatched prints and exaggerated 50’s and 60’s silhouettes took centre stage as Stella used her discerning eye to create unique looks with a quirky-yet-powerful woman in mind. Bold stripes, large-scale animal prints and graphic patterns came together with knotted headbands, colourful bras and cinched in waists to create a whimsical story with a sophisticated edge. Sensual, elegant but never overdone, Stella proves she is a true aesthete and can hold her own as an emerging designer.

Stella not only melds her own cultures together but draws inspiration from all over the world to incorporate into her collections. For Spring/Summer, she travelled to West Africa alongside the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative to source beautifully crafted, hand-woven local fabrics from under-privileged areas.

At first glance, Stella’s designs are so wrong that they’re actually oh-so-right. What’s more, her ethical design process helps impoverished women from all around the world. But the best part of seeing this collection is how much her eye for detail, ladylike flair and eccentric point of view has us feverish in our anticipation for Spring.

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