Isa Arfen designer Serafina Sama decamped from London to Milk Studios for her Spring 2015 presentation, and this collection was a great choice for her New York coming-out party. Sama’s aim, with this outing, was to bring Palm Springs holiday vibes back to the city, and she executed that theme with just the right mix of pop and urbanity. This was Sama’s most straightforwardly charming collection yet, full of no-brainer looks like a zip-front A-line skirt, sleeveless silk button-downs, and, for just a touch of drama, a raw linen cape. A palette straight out of Hockney added to the clothes’ candy-store appeal.
Sama seems a natural fit for the New York calendar, inasmuch as she has a terrific command of the American sportswear vernacular. She also takes justifiable pride in making wearable clothes. But the lady is from Italy originally, and she has imbibed English fashion eccentricity: The Isa Arfen secret sauce is the way Sama distills and domesticates the outré. To wit, that choice A-line skirt also came in a raffia-fringed version, and otherwise standard-issue tanks had giant pouf sleeves hanging off either shoulder. Another example: this season’s eye-catching print, painted by artist Marcela Gutiérrez and hand-screened onto the clothes. The sense of hand was palpable, and surprising. Sama’s clothes are full of those kinds of details, and they make a garment stick in the mind. She should find a ready audience here.