Stella Jean doesn’t shy away from the heavy stuff. Known for her focus on heritage – usually her own, an infusion of Creole and Italian – this season takes a more political stance. Jean explores the complicated history of Russian/American relations, from the Cold War to present day, through the medium of high-fashion with her Fall/Winter ’17 collection. Folk-inspired prints, pastoral embroidered motifs, woven tapestries, dense faux furs and military medals revive an old-world view in a modern, stylized context that provokes conversation on the deeper meaning. Traditional shapes like the sarafan and peasant skirt get interrupted with hyper design details for a result that’s both tense and graceful. Bold clashes of color expose Stella Jean’s signature optimism, inviting a cherished warmth to the collection’s wintry, wartime backdrop.