Kate Middleton put the name of Issa on the map when she wore one of Daniella Helayel’s designs for the announcement of her engagement. But the collection at London Fashion Week showed that there is so much more to Issa than one blue dress. The collection was a clear homage to the Halston/Studio 54 era of New York, with halter necks, fluid jersey, chain belts and graphic prints all on display.
There were gorgeous prints on display in teals and browns, a colour combination I love. Worn with Wallis Simpson style hats, designed by Stephen Jones, that would look fantastic on Kate, and with black opaque tights, the look was surprisingly chic. There were elements of the sexy secretary look in the pussycat bow necks, and the skirts were short and flirty. The mismatched prints, sleek and shiny hair and the loose chain belts added to the overall feel of the 1970s jet setting beauty.
Issa has made a name for the draping jersey designs, and there was always going to be a blue dress in the new collection. This time it was a beautiful, cornflower blue maxi with a draped neckline, that managed to look both elegant and comfortable at the same time.
Other looks I adored from this collection included a gorgeous red winter coat, that again would be perfect for Kate Middleton – maybe for the first Christmas gathering at Sandringham. I also thought that the drummer boy style drain pipe trousers and blouse were great – very Amanda Harlech, especially when worn with red leather kid gloves.
The real showstoppers of the collection were the stunning evening dresses. The show had started with the sound of Candi Staton singing ‘Young hearts run free’, and with these dresses – 70s disco print maxis, halter neck styles with Halston -esque draping, it really could’ve been 1977 all over again.
There were also echoes of Victoria Beckham’s collection in the skater style skirts in neutral stone and vibrant red and grey. I loved the matchiness of this collection – shoes matched dresses, gloves matched tights and hats matched everything.
This Issa collection also featured beautiful evening gowns like this black Grecian style number, that required very toned legs. The teal beaded number was reminiscent of the styles worn by Penelope Ann Miller in Carlito’s way – 1930s bias cut updated for the 1970s and then updated again for 2011.
Daniella was able to call on two familiar faces from fashion royalty for her show. Yasmin Le Bon and Andrea Dellal showed that perfect genes are age defying as they walked the catwalk. Andrea, in particular, looked fantastic in a 1970s style red draped dress.
This was a perfect collection for those who love grown up retro glamour. The colours, fabrics and styling were impeccable and are sure to garner the Issa label more fans, even if these may not be future Queens!