Stella Jean Fall 2023 Ready-To-Wear

Courtesy of Stella Jean

Recently, Stella Jean spent a month in Tolconi, Peru, where, via a United Nations initiative, she worked with women artisans who rear alpaca and thread the fleece. The alpaqueras’ embroideries of cholita dolls appear on several of the pieces in her new fall collection. “It’s the first time their products reach international markets,” Jean said at a showroom appointment.

Since the beginnings of her brand about a decade ago, Jean has been committed to what she calls “multicultural crossovers.” This season, there are argyle sweaters stitched with Ghanaian masks that she called a mix of “European bourgeoisie and African bourgeoisie.” A midi-length Scottish kilt is printed with the Italian word Amore. Describing another look, Jean said, “I like this one because it seems like Desperately Seeking Susan meeting Jane Austen in Delhi.” It was a surprisingly fitting explanation for the printed top with bold shoulders and a trompe l’oeil lace collar worn with a wrap-around jacquard skirt, cat-eye shades, ’80s pumps, and shoulder duster earrings.

As ever, the mix was the message here. Jean herself was wearing scuba shoes with a swaggering waxed cotton mac. But you don’t need to have her gift for whimsical detail to get the look. Several of the pieces were user-friendly hybrids, the most useful of the bunch being a dress that combines a striped sweater, shirt collar and cuffs, and a pleated print skirt.

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