21 year old Avisa Curtis is travelling back in time. Whilst her collection has been completed in London, its inspiration comes from faraway 1960s Iran, captured before its 1979 transformation into the Islamic Republic we know today. Along with its far-flung references, the menswear student has neatly sidestepped the supposed constraints of her pathway. ‘I actually ended up making womenswear for my final collection. I think there were restrictions when designing for specific genders in my head; restrictions I only overcame in my last year.’
Titled I Want To Be Shahbanu, Curtis’s final collection explores the style of her imaginary 1960s analogue, the titular Shahbanu. Combining sportswear with Tehrani school uniforms and Persian tile-prints, Curtis has built this character stitch by stitch. ‘I imagined this girl, stealing from her family’s wardrobes… dressed up in her mother’s heels and her brother’s school blazer, with her volleyball uniform underneath.’
These motifs form a collection of refined, sleek sportswear; adorned with the Persian boteh known in the West as paisley. ‘I didn’t use anything animal based, so it’s an entirely vegan collection,’ Curtis proudly declares. With a white-hot summer inbound, her lightweight sportswear will be the uniform of the season.
Ollie McCabe, BA Fashion Journalism