STELLA JEAN X YOOX – Spring / Summer 2020 Collection
Laboratorio Delle Nazioni: An Italian – Pakistan Bridge
For the SS20 collection, Stella Jean on her ninth mission has worked with the reality of an Emerging Pakistan. She collaborated on the ground with some exceptional communities, some of which are at risk of extinction. This includes the Kalash people, located in one of the most remote areas of the world–an isolated valley at an altitude of 2000 meters in the Chitral region, on the border province in northeast Pakistan.
The Kalash are an ancient population who hold a unique heritage For this reason, the government has provided them with an extraordinary amount of safety, protection, and recovery. We are talking about a geographical situation that is currently home to only about three thousand people; it is literally near extinction. They speak their own native language and have unique traditions, which so far have not been completely lost.
For the first time in history the Kalash women have embroidered their traditional motifs for an international audience through the project: ‘Laboratorio Delle Nazioni ‘. These embroideries have left the Kalash valleys this very first time, to enable the world to partake in this women empowering path. Many thanks to Karishma Ali, a 22-year-old woman who started from her very own village: Karimabad. And despite the thousands of difficulties she encountered, she persisted, and this warrior became a national women’s football champion. Now, here at more than three thousand feet, She coaches girls and trains mothers, in the Chitral Women’s Handicraft Center which she founded. This Center has produced part of the collection’s embroideries.
A multicultural collaboration with the local artisans of Chitral, Gilgit, and Hunza has taken place. These artists made the decision to share and combine Italian design with their century-old traditions, and have hand-embroidered over 400 meters of typical floral motifs in chain stitch for the Stella Jean collection.
The embroidered garments have been subsequently assembled by Italian artisan seamstresses. This is an extraordinary example of human cooperation, which was made possible by the creation of a virtual ‘Laboratory of Nations’, in which the traditional artisan skills of Pakistan, have joined and combined forces with those of Italy, to reflect the excellence of the Made in Italy and despite thousands of miles of distance, dozens of women have worked together, with the common goal of caring and preserving an endangered global cultural heritage. This is an acknowledgment of fashion’s potential, as a cultural activity, to provide significant opportunities for decent work for men and women around the world.