Art enthusiasts and fashionistas all over the world are salivating over Pari Ehsan’s style website Pari Dust…
Art enthusiasts and fashionistas all over the world are salivating over Pari Ehsan’s style website Pari Dust. The former architect and interior designer created the site by bringing together her two biggest passions, fashion and art. Taking the time to answer some of our questions below, she delves into her inspirations, her recent collaboration with Superga at Art Basel – Miami, and some exciting upcoming projects.
TL: How did the idea of creating images by combining pieces from notable clothing designers with art and architecture come about?
PE: The idea stemmed from my desire for a more free spirited creative outlet to the architecture and interior design work I was doing at the time. My original loves have always been art and fashion and one day I was taking a portrait for my interior design website and happened to be matching a Helen Frankenthaler painting at the Gagosian and the concept struck me.
TL: Do your projects usually begin with inspiration from a specific art exhibit or installation? Or, do you see a garment from a designer you like and find an art piece that compliments it? Tell us a little about your process.
PE: Most often the art comes first. I try to see as much as I can every Saturday and when I see an exhibit I usually just instinctively know that I would like to create a pairing. There are always those designers that I love or new designers that I discover whose pieces are in the back of my head and sometimes the perfect pairing presents itself. I think that the process is very intuitive, most of the time I get my heart set on one specific piece. All I know is that when the shoot is happening it is very much like I step outside myself in order to create something else.
TL: This year you were nominated Instagrammer of the Year by the CFDA, aside from the obvious result of bringing you a slew of new followers, how did this affect your career and work?
PE: It changed everything for me. I feel as if acknowledgement from the fashion world is actually much harder to receive than that of the art world. It was after the CFDA nomination that I decided to focus my full efforts on Pari Dust.
TL: It looks like you gravitated towards color at this year’s Art Basel in Miami. Can you tell us a bit about the projects you did there? Can you specifically discuss your collaboration with Superga?
PE: Color was everywhere at Art Basel and I think that the energy and Miami Beach is a very vibrant place and this year the fair reflected that. My collaboration with Superga was that I paired sneakers with art throughout the week. I had about forty pairs with me in every color and print, it was a dream collaboration. I also did a shoot for Lula Magazine that I’m really excited about which comes out in February.
TL: Do museums and galleries work with you to create a space for you to do your work? Or, do you have to work around people attending the exhibits?
PE: Sometimes I will shoot after hours, but most often I shoot when the gallery or museum is open just during off hours when I expect the space to be least busy. The most challenging shoot I think I’ve done was on the last day of Art Basel for Lula when the fair was crawling with people.
TL: Do you have favorite clothing designers whose pieces you use in your photographs? What is your favorite clothing/art combination to date?
PE: I try to mix it up. Right now I really have eyes for Ellery, Tome and Katie Ermillio. I think Jacob Hashimoto and Chanel Couture was definitely a favorite. Also, Sterling Ruby and Valentino.
TL: Have you ever thought a combination would work fabulously only to find it didn’t work at all? If so, how did you overcome that challenge?
PE: I had to reshoot Chris Wool at the Guggenheim because the first outfit did not translate. I was wearing leather shorts and a patterned collared top that I thought would be perfect but I needed a larger scale pattern and silhouette with volume to balance the strength of those works.
TL: Are there any designers, artists/architects you are itching to collaborate with? Can you give readers any insight into upcoming collaborations and appearances?
PE: I would love to shoot at the John Nouvel designed Cartier Foundation in Paris. Also, Tadao Ando is one of my favorite architects and would dream to do a collaboration with him. I have an upcoming collaboration with J. Crew. I will be hosting an event for the launch of Faike, a new line of modern utilitarian accessories. For the Armory show in March I will be interviewing and highlighting the artists and galleries that are part of this year’s focus which is Middle Eastern Art. I also have something in the works with a major auction house.
"My original loves have always been art and fashion and one day I was taking a portrait for my interior design website and happened to be matching a Helen Frankenthaler painting at the Gagosian and the concept struck me."