With Illustrations by Natasha Thompson
Hold on to your hats kids, the turban is back! Or it is if Issa has her way.
According to the Brazilian-born designer S/S 11 is also going to be an Indian Summer, as she (like the Daks show I saw on Saturday) sent a collection of exotic, richly coloured jersey and silk looks down the catwalk, complete with gem-encrusted accessories and shoes, and jewel-toned turbans wound around the models’ heads.
Apparently ‘India’s evolving cultural influences and imperious architecture’ inspired the collection – but let’s not get too bogged down in the detail. What we saw was a complete summer wardrobe of whimsical day dresses, punchy prints and glammed up evening wear.
There’s nothing challenging here – Issa makes super flattering beachwear and glam, fail-safe party frocks for the Kings Road set – and is known for her dresses that can take you “from the beach to the office and then onto the red carpet”. After five days of non-stop shows, the fash pack were in need of light relief – and Issa’s bright and breezy show seemed to be a welcome antidote to more directional collections. The photographers were certainly grateful – they let out a collective whoop of “Last show of fashion week – wooooooooooarghh!” before it-girl Poppy Delevigne had even taken her seat.
Some of the show was a Brazilian take on Bollywood glitz, injected with a shot of sixties glamour. What can only be described as a ‘sexy sari’ appeared in several guises – one shoulder, midriff baring bandeau tops paired with palazzo pants or swishy skirts in Pucci-esque prints. Teamed with antique jewellery from Lucy in Disguise (hence Lily Allen and baby bump on the front row) and strappy bejewelled sandals, these outfits were made for posing poolside with a martini.
The rest was rather a mixed bag – a couple of airy white sundresses here, some eye-popping lace dresses there. The signature party frocks – long with Grecian style draping, or short, cinched in and flirty – were out in full force. But sometimes I just wasn’t getting into that Indian groove.
Luckily, hair and makeup spiced up the show. Apparently the brief was “Veruschka starting out on a road trip in Rajasthan but ending at Burning Man” with “hallucinogenics…definitely involved”. So, naturally, we had turbans aplenty, hair piled high and wild, kohl rimmed eyes.
To be a true Issa girl you evidently need:
a) A slamming body – a lot of the looks are clingy and cut to show off a gym-honed physique, or a tan gained Greek island hopping.
b) A jet-set lifestyle that warrants a wardrobe of slinky party dresses, and a one-shoulder, draped swimsuit.
Looking around at my neighbours, I can see the shiny Eurocrats and glossed up It-girls in the crowd donning Issa’s creations this summer. But what if you aren’t a regular on the pages of Tatler?
Well, being pale, pasty and poor, I am probably NOT an Issa girl – but the clothes still made for a rather fabulous end to fashion week.
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