THE CONTEMPORARY WOMAN: PARI EHSAN

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Exhibition: Sarah Meyohas, Cloud of Petals (2017) // Location: Red Bull Arts New York // Wearing: Hermes scarf, Peet Dullaert techno pleat dress // Photographer: Danny Lim

She has taken gallery hopping to another level by coordinating her outfits with masterpieces and posting the pictures alongside poetic articles detailing the whole ordeal; Thus making her photos a piece of art in itself. Starting with architectural studies and transitioning into interior design, Pari Ehsan had a great aesthetic background when she got the idea for her blog; Pari Dust, which started in 2013.

I stumbled upon her Instagram profile a while back and scrolling down her feed to her first photo, I saw a graffiti chapel and Pari in a white outfit. Moving a bit further I got submerged in a world of colour and composition that caressed my eyes. She got the idea for her now very successful blog during a Helen Frankenthaler exhibition while taking a portrait for her interior design website she noticed her outfit matched the painting and thought to herself “this is it”.

You have gone a long way up the fashion media ladder, having guest posts on ELLE magazine and W. But how did you start your journey into fashion?

From a young age I’ve always been enchanted with fashion and found it to be a form of artistic expression for myself. It was through creating assemblages with my clothing that I explored composition, color and proportion. I loved the different personas I could portray by experimenting with fashion and beauty.

You are an architect as well as an interior designer, your work may be considered as multidisciplinary with a focus on fashion. why choose fashion and fine arts?

Fashion and fine art are my original loves, fine art as the most pure form of creation, has the power to alter perception revealing higher truths. Fashion for me was an entry point to accessing and understanding art, fashion holds elements of art. I was always more than a bit self-conscious about making art but I would wear anything.

Charles Filiger – Madonna and Two Angels or Madonna of the Fireflies (Madone aux vers luisants), ca. 1892 // Wearing Versace // Photo by Tylor Hóu

Working with other artists’ pieces demands some sort of objective view towards their style. How does your personal style get influenced by this matter? Which artist is your style closest to?

Art highly influences the style of my alter ego as I attempt to serve a higher purpose, conceptually as well as aesthetically when creating a set of imagery. This practice seeps into my personal style but does not shift my own aesthetic, I don’t identify with a specific artist from a style standpoint, I like to exist in a vacuum a bit.

What’s your design process? Do you pick an outfit and match it with an art piece or vice versa?

The art comes first, I see and absorb as much as I can, art, architecture, design and performance, those that elicit an emotional response and stay with me are the pieces I choose to further a dialogue with.

After choosing the artwork, how do you go about finding matching clothes and accessories? what are your sources?

It’s all in my mind and mood to be honest. There are designers that are at the forefront, whom I love and admire, I draw from that. I am in a serendipitous place where for the first time in my life, everything flows, the art and fashion rises to the surface in ways that are hard to explain but I think it is about observing, surrounding yourself with those that are also creating and observing and of course
seeking.

Photo by Tylor Hóu Wearing Patricia Field for Dover Street Market // Photo by Tylor Hóu

You were born in Indiana but have an Iranian background, can you tell us how and to what extent this has influenced your work?

That is a very delicate subject. I feel as if I grew up quite sheltered but this gave me a sensitivity and a naivety that influences my perspective and interactions with others. I also grew up with a lot of shame and perfectionism which I think also in some way is released and the perfectionism
alchemized into something positive with what I do now. I always felt like I didn’t belong and it was hard to relate and resonate with the people I grew up with, culturally we were so different but I have always cherished my Iranian culture and identify very much with it. Now, I wouldn’t trade growing
up in the Midwest with an Iranian father as it taught me very important life lessons early on, to stand up for my family and beliefs, ultimately to have a strong character.
Who’s your favourite Iranian artist or fashion designer?
My exposure to and interactions with Sherin Neshat have had a significant effect on me. It was through her piece, Logic of the Birds, that I was struck by the impact of performance art and the ability to convey a political statement in a poetic way.

When you stand beside an art piece do you consider yourself a complimentary piece to the work? Or are you a part of the artist’s story?
I consider myself an appendix to the story, where that fits in space is subjective. 

 

Lin Tianmiao – Protruding Patterns, Galerie Lelong // Wearing Chanel Couture Fall 2017 // Photo by Logan Jackson

How do you go about following trends in your work? For example when you are standing beside a work from a different era, let’s say from the 30’s, is following fashion trends a part of your priorities? or do you seek the trends relevant to the era of the art piece?

I don’t identify with trends more so movements that are part of a larger cultural context. I think it is much more interesting to juxtapose contemporary with historical and create new intersections that perhaps add another layer and elicit the desire to research and enter a work from a different place.

To get to know more about Pari Ehsan visit her website

unnamed-1 copy Mahtab Abghari  The Contemporary Woman Editor
Mahtab is studying Fashion Communication at Ryerson University, exploring cultural diversity and its influence on individuals. 
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