ISSA AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR LONDON FASHION WEEK
So let’s not sugar the pill: Several of the fringed dresses here were almost as reminiscent of the closing section of Stella McCartney’s Fall ’14 show as Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” is of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” And there were readable samplings of Kane and Cavalli—alongside several others—too. But you know, maybe we get overly het up in fashion over sampling, homaging, or whatever you want to call the ongoing crowd-sourced algorithm of fashion—which is, after all, a consensus-led dialogue. It was notable that there was not a single memorable cold-weather piece in this debut collection by Jamie O’Hare, who worked under Blue Farrier during her bright but brief tenure at Issa.
Sexy, commercial, and recognizable: O’Hare mixed abstracted jacquard animal patterns, that hello-again fringing, tricksily-everywhere hem complications, and sometimes unfortunate splits that left a bolt of cloth trailing back between the wearer’s legs as she walked. Some of the pattern, said the press notes, was based on aerial photography of a racetrack in Bahrain: More tellingly, it communicated that this collection aimed to be “polished rather than bohemian.” And it was. Farrier’s soft-focus Super 8 wistfulness was cast asunder in favor of a pretty efficient mixtape of relevant tropes for party girls, styled with signature phwoarr by Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, whose other clients include Victoria’s Secret. It looked like other things, but this Issa collection was just about itself, too.