I had a great re-connection to a fashionable part of my Persian culture that I have yet to see at Shahla Dorriz Couture last night via their bold and artistic “Matriarchs / Archives” exhibition. This is the second exhibition of the ” / Archives” series by mother and son collaborators Shahla and Alexandre Dorriz. The third and fourth generation couturiers, and photographer, are known for their working with their family’s rich historical collection of needlepoint and embroidered textiles, some over 150 years to date, which were smuggled out of Iran during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Shahla and Alexandre delve into autobiographic narratives of upbringings and lineages in their diptych series, with intimate black and white portraits of their family. As a reminder of the fibers that have fabricated their contemporary identities, the family’s collection of textiles are draped in the background of each of the contemporary images (right diptychs) like the woven backgrounds that drape the artists’ own pasts. These diptychs allow a sense of oscillation between tableaus of contemporaneity and antiquity, representing the parallel and analogous journeys the family lineages come through, as well as a commentated dialogue between mother and son.
“At the dawn of the Revolution, my grandmother, to make room for the textiles in her suitcases, decided to leave all her fine jewelry and home artworks with close friends in Tehran. Those goods eventually came to be lost – nowhere to be found. The gilding onto these photographed prints have come to be in a sort of retribution for the luxury lost upon my matriarchy’s exile; it is a consolation for that suffering, and for that sacrificial act of ubiquitous emigration, so that my mother and I could exorcise, and atone for, that expatriated suffering,” said Alexandre Dorriz.
“It was humbling and very necessary for me to do this and it truly feels like a purpose,” he added.
“It’s nice to see something celebrating different cultures and fashion is art,” added Cameron Silver, Fashion Director of the H by Halston and H Halston brands and co-owner of the exclusive haute couture vintage mecca Decades.