A study of luminescence through the medium of couture, The Diffraction of Light debuted a variety of custom-developed textiles which accentuate the interplay of light on fabric as they gently fold and drape around silhouettes inspired by the geometry of gemstones, and the stunning patterns that come about when we shine a light through them.
A collection of 24 looks, The Diffraction of Light showcased hand-crafted couture techniques of smocking, pleating, embroidery, and appliqué, in order to create the effect of light radiating from a garment. The theme of light is also interpreted, quite literally, through the use of the lightest of fabrics, often sheer, to reveal the meticulous attention to detail of their construction, and how their true beauty comes from within.
These ideas are exemplified in the ‘Polaris’ dress. The result of a months-long collaboration between ArdAzAei, the world-renowned folding artist Joan Sallas, and the Paris-based pleating specialists Les Ateliers Lognon, ‘Polaris’ is composed of fine silk woven with a semi-sheer metallic lurex that reflects the light like the sun shimmering on the ocean and features three dimensional pleats carefully folded to form the ArdAzAei emblem, itself informed by the diffraction of light through a gemstone, and designed by M/M (Paris).
Geometry is a recurring theme. The ‘Vega’ dress, made of a fine silk, takes inspiration from an ornamental ceiling in the ancient Persian city of Yazd; Its elaborate mathematics informing the composition of the dress’ plissé, appliqué, and intricately embroidery beads, sequins, and silver threads. The collection also presents bespoke jacquard fabrics, patterned with the atomic structure of the mineral Beryl, applied to an impeccably-tailored suit and a gown with a long train, both geometrically cut to create the ArdAzAei stone cut.
The collection’s asymmetric lines and geometric shapes are contrasted by soft, voluminous draping, as seen in ‘June’. An evening dress defined by its featherlight layers of silk chiffon, organza and shimmering silver lurex swirling gracefully around the body, over 850 hours, and 200 meters of silk were required to create its sumptuous volume. Through working with France’s most skilled couture artisans, the theme of lightness is also applied to a uniquely supple, vegetable-tanned Swedish reindeer leather, crafted to drape and swirl around the body.
“The Diffraction of Light is at the heart of ArdAzAei’s design philosophy, a phenomenon I have been exploring since I studied gemology and discovered the optics which expose how a gem’s beauty is a reflection of its inner world,” creative director Bahareh Ardakani says. “This is why ArdAzAei puts so much focus on developing our own fabrics and working with France’s most esteemed craftspeople to construct our couture, as it’s through the attention paid to a garment’s inner world that its outer radiance is revealed.”