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099: Ringing in Nowruz with Clémence Polès
The Passerby founder invites 10 spring-ready guests to share their lebāsé nō.
For this special Nowruz holiday send, Magasin welcomes guest curator Clémence Polès of Passerby. She has invited 10 celebrating members of her community to share the items they are buying to uphold the custom of wearing a new outfit to ring in the new year (learn more about Persian New Year on Passerby here).
Today marks the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere and the first day of the new year in the Persian calendar. Nowruz (New-Day) is one of the most important Iranian festivals, with traditions that have existed (and survived) for at least 3,000 years (well before Christianity, Islam, and Judaism)!
It is a spring festival originating from agricultural communities in prehistoric times, which saw spring plants budding from seemingly dead wood as a promising omen for their crops in the coming year. It was instituted to mark a renewal of life and destiny.
Politics often overtakes the narrative about what Iranians and their culture are like, which has caused a lot of beauty to be discarded. And so I’m grateful that Laura has invited me to guest curate today’s newsletter so that I can share a snippet of that beauty.
One of the most beloved traditions associated with this holiday is the practice of wearing new clothes, lebāsé nō, symbolizing a fresh start and a renewal of spirit, embracing the hope and optimism that comes with the changing of seasons.
The tradition calls for a new outfit to be worn for the moment the earth passes the vernal equinox, which we call Sal Tahvil or Sa’at e Tahvil. For New Yorkers, as I am one, that moment hits today at 5:24 pm ☀️🌱
Iranians take great care in selecting their new outfits, often buying them weeks in advance. For this special Magasin edition, I’m asking a couple of Iranians celebrating Nowruz to share what they plan on wearing this Nowruz.
Mowruz Mobārak to all of the Iroonis reading this! I hope that our festivities’ promise of rebirth and peace manifests this year.
Clémence Polès, @clemencepoles
“Nowruz is a celebration of light, spring, and renewal. Each ritual is full of depth and poetry, and its purpose is to aid our renewal, as our planet goes through its own, in the spring equinox.
I try to celebrate this as much as I can with my wardrobe on the day of Nowruz. I typically gravitate toward black or brown pieces, which are not particularly ‘spring’ or ‘celebratory,’ but this is the one time of the year I go outside of my comfort zone.
This year I’m going all in with this gorgeous floral transparent Julia Heuer dress that I got from one of my favorite stores (that happens to be Iranian-owned), Maimoun. I wanted to highlight some of my favorite Iranian women in fashion, so of course, pairing the dress with the iconic Olympia wedge by Maryam Nassir Zadeh and my favorite lingerie designer, Yasmine Eslami.
I thought the outfit complimented my ‘Haft Sin’ (a spread of seven items representing renewal and springtime) quite well :)”
Sunny Shokrae, @sunnyshokrae
“I didn't actually need to go out to buy something new, I had a brand new J. Kim dress sitting in my closet from last summer bought from my favorite online store—Maimoun. I was supposed to wear this to a summer wedding but went with something different, SO, my lebāsé nō for Nowruz this year is NEW, even though technically ‘never worn.’ J. Kim exudes the meaning of Nowruz to me—that being ‘themes of home, family values, and search for a place of empowerment,’ and her intersectionality of identity as a person is incredibly relatable. I'm pairing the dress with a decor item I bought from Michaels while browsing for crafts for my 5-year-old. I'm using it as a purse, even though it's technically not a purse, but I saw it and it screamed Nowruz, so here we are. Shoes are by By Far in an electric green, because green is LIFE.”
Mani Motarjemi, @mani_motarjemi
I chose this lightweight suit mainly for comfort and also feeling well-dressed and ready to dance and eat. It’s my birthday on the 21st of March, so it’s also a BDAY LOOK!
It felt nice to wear some color for a more SHAD vibe…also channeling my Baba’s classic style.”
Alexis Badiyi, @alexisbadiyi
“I’ve been struck with a hint of fantasy these past months and leaned in for the upcoming holiday. I’m wearing:
A Haus Agency bandeau bra in new color Arabica. I love this line of wearable staples, and the new color is the perfect brown. An instant addition to my summer-forward spring buys.
Gucci bamboo bag. Since prepping for my past shoot with Magasin, I’ve been pining for the perfect bamboo Gucci to add to my collection. I found this one on one of my late-night vintage digital hauls.
Peche Tilda mules. After losing out to the perfect rosette shoe a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the Peche Tilda. They are the perfect amount of drama, and the fact that they are actually, walkably comfortable is a nice bonus.”
Rita Nakouzi, @rita_nakouzi
“Inspired by the home of my friends in Santa Fe, an adobe home with lots of touches of traditional textiles and burst of color. I’m dressed in all Italian brands this Nowruz. My dress is from a shop in Italy called Yashu e Prem and Gucci slides from the garden collection with butterflies embroidered on them. A symbol of metamorphosis and growth.”
Houman Farahmand, @endingsoon.world
“There are several elements to Eid Norooz, one being lebāsé nō, something that you will be getting use out of in the new year. I have selected a Prada jacket, chic and sleek, yet the nylon material makes it utilitarian and durable.
The Dries Van Noten pants are the statement piece in the outfit. Spring means green to me, and Eid Norooz has many green elements such as Sabzeh or Sabzi Polo. The wood grain motif on a green, jewel-toned velvet is the symbolic piece that ties the outfit together.
The Churchs are a classic staple, with its durable leather and rugged sole, they are built to last shad sal beh ean sal (‘100 more years to this year,’ a Persian New Year saying).”
Pari Ehsan, @paridust
“Nowruz this year is unlike any other that I’ve experienced in my lifetime, as along with a fresh new year marked by the spring equinox, it brings hopes for the dawn of a free Iran. Channeling the optimism of the sun, I’ve chosen a pleated skirt in marigold paired with a silver sequin bra and crystal-accented dandelion mesh top. The color gold and gold itself is intrinsically connected to my perception of Iran and the history of our culture. I’m wearing Siedrés, a Turkish brand with a ’60s spirit, as I manifest a year of rebirth and transformation.”
Tala Ashe, @talaashe
“It’s a hard to feel very celebratory this year with what’s happening/has happened in Iran, but all the more reason to gently welcome in the new year and hope for brighter, more peaceful days ahead.
Boy, am I embracing the reemergence of ’90s fashion like it’s 1999 and everyone is getting ‘The Rachel’ haircut. We have some pumps from Veronica Beard paired with very Tina Turner sheer tights from Calzedonia, a skirt from Ganni (that my cats love and my husband compared to a lampshade), and a fuzzy mohair sweater from Sézane, because coziness is hashtag goals for 1402, babyyy.”
Rahill Jamalifard, @radiorahill
“This outfit is inspired by Khorshid Khanoom. Translated to ‘Sun Lady,’ khorshid khanoom is one of our culture’s most favorable and familiar symbols, personifying the femininity found in the beauty and strength of the sun. This suede, burnt-orange vintage two-piece is exactly the sentiment I’m trying to evoke for the new year: warmth and richness for a bright future. The particular shades of orange combined are also a nod to a few of the key items found on our Nowruz sofreh—sumac, which symbolizes sunrise and the promise of new beginning; goldfish, which symbolize life; and samanoo, which symbolizes sweetness and fertility. Happy nowruz to all!”
Mina Alyeshmerni, @maimoun_ny
“I have on a Yuhan Wang Floral Top from my store, Maimoun, one of my favorite pieces as it provides just the right amount of coverage for most occasions. The skirt is J.Kim, also from my store, it has flowers throughout with drawstrings. For Nowruz, to welcome the Persian New Year, I like to get a little sentimental and wear floral patterns to symbolize the start of spring and all the celebration that are to follow :) My shoes are Maryam Nassir Zadeh, a Persian designer I absolutely love, I always loved the color red from my youth.”
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