Monday, 19 September 2011

Issa London or Issa Rio?

The suffix “London” could easily have been substituted for “Rio” in Issa London’s spring/summer 12 collection, which the Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel showed at Somerset House during London Fashion Week on Saturday night. If the brand hadn’t made enough of its Brazilian roots before (I don’t think it has), then Daniella changed all that for next season, going as far (too far perhaps?) as using “I heart Rio” prints. Tropical fruit and banana leaf prints also cemented the more clichéd Brazilian aesthetic, while super-skimpy swimwear – modelled by Ana Beatriz Barros – showed off Brazil’s love of the female form.

Elsewhere, there were plenty of references to two of Issa’s favourite clients – Kate and Pippa Middleton. A shift dress with matching cropped jacket worn with a fascinator had royalty written all over it, while body-skimming dresses cinched in at the waist could go straight into Kate’s wardrobe.
The 1970s was also key, with jumpsuits and elegant floor-length kaftans, but the dress ruled the day, as some 40 styles walked down the catwalk accompanied by a speeded-up version of The Girl from Ipanema.
But perhaps what encapsulated the Brazilian mood best was the finale. Ana walked down the runway in a jewelled and feathered – and skimpy – leotard, giving the audience a wink and cute smile as she turned to walk back. She also joined Daniella as the designer took her bow; the two did a little dance on the catwalk.

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