Paco Park is one label that’s marching to its own beat. With tribal accents, immaculate tailoring and quirky details, their capsule collection of unisex blazers is quickly making a name for itself.
The creative brain behind Paco Park is Melbourne lass Marianne Diaz, a self-taught designer with a background in fashion publishing. Almost two years ago, Diaz packed her bags and headed over to Paris for love and in search of fashion.
“The fashion community in Paris is very encouraging. They really crave ‘newness’ – maybe because everything is so pretty in Paris they need a little disorder; but only a very small dose, just enough to ruffle their foulards,” says Diaz.
The seed for Paco Park’s blazer collection was sown after Diaz holidayed in the Philippines. Over a dinner party, she showed some of her nearest and dearest a suitcase she had returned with that was filled with hand-woven, artisan textiles. One of her friends, a petite French DJ, offered to mix some beats in exchange for a jacket in the fabric. Within a few weeks the first rough sample was complete, and soon after this a limited run collection of slim-fit blazers, featuring distinctive inner lining and double piping, was borne. “Paco Park is my love for cultures and cities. My parents are Chinese-Filipino-Spanish. I was born in Manila and I live in Paris and Melbourne. In a way, I still feel like an outsider in all these places so I'm a keen observer. Aesthetically, Paco Park is a real jumble – it's colourful, tailored, youthful and a bit awkward,” Diaz explains.
Diaz sees the androgyny of her blazers as set apart from fly-by-night trends. Rather, each piece is created with longevity in mind and has been designed to share. “Sharing clothes with friends and lovers is pretty normal, no?” she muses.
Eschewing a traditional look book, Diaz took to the streets and over a two-month period photographed stylish everyday Parisians in her threads. “My friends and I spent hours sitting at cafes, people watching, so I decided to photograph those strangers. The people-stalking really started consuming my life. I would be in a gallery or a concert and my eyes would buzz around – the blazer became some kind of a living beast!” Whether it’s thrown over a pretty dress or teamed up with a plain white tee and jeans, the resulting shots are a great example of just how versatile Paco Park’s blazers are.
Following the success of this collection, Diaz is already working on her next range. With a focus on “menswear and slimmer shapes”, she is creating jackets and shirts with narrower shoulders and shorter cuts. She is also finalising distribution a little closer to home in Melbourne. In the meantime you’ll just have to look from afar.
When it comes to Paco Park, it’s definitely a case of watch this space.