Art / Fashion

Modern Muse: The Insta-girl blending high fashion and contemporary art

Calling all art and fashion fiends; meet your new must-follow, Pari Dust (real name Pari Ehsan). The NYC-based creative's bold IG aesthetic sees her pairing her favourite runway looks with contemporary art from around the world (think Gucci-clad Pari next to Alphonse Osbert’s Vision in the Guggenheim museum to frolicking in Marc Jacobs with Shiela Hicks’ technicolor installation). We caught up with the master-mixer to talk personal style and the art of Instagram...

Hi Pari! Talk me through your career journey so far – what were you most interested in pursuing first; design or fashion? 

I grew up eclectic in the sense that my Iranian born father married a red head from Holland and somehow we landed in the Midwest. Culturally it was hard for me to identify with my surroundings so I felt best when I enhanced my awkwardness and experimented with clothing as a form of expression. This combined with formative stints in art camp and visits to art museums made fashion and art my first two loves.

Where did you study?

I decided to go to school for architecture at USC and after all admitted that my heart wasn’t in it so I ended up in furniture and interior design which led to a realization that there was some interesting tension between all of these peripheral realms. I decided that the best way to explore was to circle back to where it all began and I found myself obsessed with creating these dialogues which entailed myself styled to heighten the surrounding art installation context. Essentially to make myself as uncomfortable as possible guerilla shooting in a gallery to tip into a place where I could exist outside myself and give way to a shift in perception.

You have garnered a huge following on Instagram through your unique fashion-meets-art aesthetic. What’s been the key to your success? 

Perhaps just coming from that point of obsession, creating relationships between art and fashion is infinitely interesting to me. No pairing is the same, there is an endless amount of material to draw from, discover and therefore create. I also feel as if I’m sharing value, an artist that I admire, a feeling that may resonate with the collective. It’s not strategic, it’s just me doing what feels innate.

How would you describe your personal style in three words?

Fluid, experimental and architectural.

Who is your style icon?

My grandmother.

Your favourite fashion brands?

There are so many! I will give you those that have aura: Iris van Herpen, Hussein Chalayan, Rei Kawakubo, Y/Project, Ottolinger, Hardeman, Nhu Duong, to name a few.

Your career highlight so far?

The most gratifying is receiving a compliment or the rite of passage from those whom I admire, on an individual level, an artist whose work I’ve shot or the opportunity to dream up an editorial with Chanel Couture every season. The beautiful surprises continue to unfold and expand, it feels very surreal.

What’s up next for you?

A more documentary type video series I’m very excited about which involves discovering private art collections around the world with interviews to gain insight on the personalities and initiatives of their founders. An expanded version of my website, a new section beginning as a monthly curation of what to see across the realms of fashion, art and design. A reentering into the world of design, starting with a capsule shoe collection…

Follow Pari on Instagram here and you can check out her website on

This article originally appeared on Hunger TV June 2018. 


23 November 2018