Life's a Beach With Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Life's a Beach With Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Chief downtown trendsetter Maryam Nassir Zadeh described her Spring 2020 collection to me as "'90s mod, Cassavetes city girl, beach rave, safari suiting," which is such an apt description that it feels foolish to expand upon it any further. Her show, held on Monday at Sara Delano Roosevelt park on the Lower East Side, was so soothing — the vacation colors, the fresh air, the presence of dogs and small children — as is the MNZ way. Everyone just looked so fresh and happy. The women of Dimes Square all clamored for seats.

The designer is so very excellent at Instagram, and she spent the summer posting from various glamorous vacation spots like Formentera and Deía and Istanbul. And so it makes sense that her breezy collection drew inspiration from the sea. Models wore bikinis as regular tops, ruffled skirts ideal for a trip to Mallorca, and crochet crop tops, skin delicately peeking through.

"The beach for me is like a year-round thing, but I think in this season there was a romance element that I don't normally have in the collection," she said. "With the light colors it's a little more subdued and ethereal, but there's a kind of strong femininity [present]."

Looks that were less beach-y seemed to draw from jockeys and Sloan Ranger types, with slouchy boots. It seemed like every woman at the show was sporting Zadeh's trademark shoes, which people race for at sample sales. This season, the designer presented evolved silhouettes, including pointy-toed boots with rhinestone and chain embellishments and thong sandals. "I feel like the shoes are evolving, and I always want to try to bring something forward that's new," she said. "I did those pointy boots for fall, and I didn't totally introduce them. I felt they were a little ahead of their time, and now it was time to push them through."

Models, also styled by genius and longtime Chloë Sevigny collaborator Haley Wollens, also carried transparent tote bags filled with pottery, and sported glass jewelry shaped like sea creatures. Time to book a ticket to the Balearic Isles – or at least scroll through the MNZ feed again and again, pretending to be on a trip somewhere with a name I can't pronounce.

Photography: Andres Altamirano (courtesy of Maryam Nassir Zadeh)