If some designers deliver collections smooth as a snickerdoodle cookie, where all the flavors blend together into ready-made outfits ripe for the wearing, Maryam Nassir Zadeh‘s shows do the opposite. They are the chocolate chip M&M pretzel cookies of New York Fashion Week, concocted with a chunky batter of various eclectic components. While both are delicious, the latter is uniquely suited to be broken apart and put back together in your own way — and therein lies Zadeh’s strong suit: presenting a collection that looks like it was assembled from a real woman’s wardrobe, filled with seemingly disparate pieces that harmonize under the umbrella of personal style.
Maybe that’s why I always come away from her shows brimming with new styling ideas, only to subsequently discover I can actually satisfy them with the contents of my own closet. Keep scrolling for a rundown of all the ingredients I plan to sample from Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Spring/Summer 2019 show.
1.Sheer colored tights and pumps or sandals
As you may recall, Haley and I tested out the burgeoning colored tights trend last spring on our own selves. By the end of the experiment, I wasn’t a tried and true colored tights convert, but that may change after witnessing the parade of sheer tights paired with sandals at Maryam Nassir Zadeh. It’s the perfect gentle alternative to a stylistic choice that might otherwise be somewhat challenging — a whisper to the opaque version’s shout, if you will. Though Zadeh paired them with both pumps and sandals in the show, I particularly like the idea of pairing them with something strappy as a literal ode to the art of transitional weather dressing.
2.A cross-body bag tucked under a bandeau or belt
I haven’t worn a cross-body bag since I maxed out on them in 2013, so the desire to start again after watching the Maryam Nassir Zadeh show came as a bit of a surprise. Then again, I’d never seen them tucked under a bandeau bra or belt before — a stylistic choice that appeared multiple times on the runway. Is it possible that I hadn’t tired of the bags themselves but rather the way I was wearing them? Perhaps! The only way to find out is to unearth one of my cross-bodies of yore and stick the strap beneath my garment of choice.
3.A shirt layered over a blazer, paired with bike shorts
I’ve been waffling on the bike shorts trend for awhile now, though I do own a white cotton pair from Amazon that I wear religiously around my apartment. I wasn’t sure how I felt about actually wearing them outside on a regular basis, however, until presented with this styling idea at Maryam Nassir Zadeh: bike shorts worn with a tailored blazer and a frilly shirt layered on top like sartorial whipped cream. I haven’t quite pinpointed what I love so much about this combination, but I think it’s because it somehow elevates the bike shorts into something more sophisticated than home clothes.
4.A translucent dress worn over belted trousers
I like this style trick because it shows how a sheer garment can pack so much aesthetic punch despite being translucent, changing not only the texture of an ensemble but its color as well. While we’re on the topic of sheer, this fashion week was chock-full of nipples; in fact, I haven’t seen so many since I changed in the locker room after field hockey practice in tenth grade. The obvious takeaway from this very noticeable uptick is that we are witnessing a super trend in the making, but you don’t have to go boob-out to participate. For example, I plan to recreate this sheer look as seen at Maryam Nassir Zadeh — a see-through shift dress worn over belted trousers — with a bra or tank of my choice. (I’m telling you all of this so you know that whether or not you’re freeing the nipple, you can partake in the stylistic delight of the overall outfit, which is abundant.)
5.A performance-wear shirt under a suit
I can’t tell what kind of shirt Camilla Deterre is actually wearing under a slouchy brown suit in look #12 of Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s collection, but to me it looks a lot like a performance-wear garment — i.e. a zip-up like the kind you get from Underarmour to layer under your ski jacket. Whether or not it’s actually made of sweat-wicking material or not is the besides the point, it’s the appearance of it that matters, because it offers up such a fun contrast to the delightfully frumpy-on-purpose suit.
6.A gladiator coin purse
If you’ve never heard of a gladiator coin purse, don’t worry, I just made that name up. I had to, as I couldn’t find a more official name for the little drawstring pouches whose strings were intertwined around models’ arms like the laces of a gladiator sandal in look #21 and #23 of Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s collection. While seated at the show, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of them, but having mentally digested the idea I can now announce my concluding feeling that it’s brilliant. Not only does it prevent the possibility of losing your recently acquired coin purse (I say “recently acquired” because I haven’t carried a coin purse since I was in Kindergarten but plan on purchasing this one for $5.99), but it also makes carrying one much more than a purely utilitarian endeavor. No longer is the necessity of schlepping your wallet a thoroughly practical affair — it’s a statement, and a fun one to boot.
What styling tricks are you planning to approximate from Maryam Nassir Zadeh — or any other chunky-battered fashion show from the past week, for that matter? Meet me in the comments to discuss.
Runway photos via Vogue Runway. Slideshow images by Edith Young.