PREVIOUSLY straightforwardly pretty, Issa has experienced a fashion revolution since former Chloé designer Blue Farrier took the helm in 2013. With print at the forefront of her new vision, Farrier’s “balancing act” – between surprising and delighting fashion fans while still keeping the loyal Issa customer happy – continued today in confident style. The label’s signature “fit-and-flare” dresses – so beloved of the Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and her sister, Pippa, as well as the label’s owner Camilla Al Fayed and her stylish gang of friends – were still present alongside plenty of loose, wearable separates and dresses to keep the fashion girls happy.
“The keyword for us this season was movement,” Farrier explained backstage following the show – held on the South Bank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, last filled with fashion followers for the Vogue Festival in March. “We were inspired by Pop Art prints, but I really wanted to find a way to do it that was interesting and new. We looked to new fabric techniques and of course the prints for that – adding texture and contrast as well as colour.”
With a clear evolution, the offering began with a graphic “wobble” – a softer manifestation of last season’s zig-zag – transforming into horses as the collection progressed, before the equine prints evolved too, from abstract to more classical. A palette-cleansing black, white and cream palette softly introduced peach before the show’s middle section – the jam in the collection’s sandwich, if you will – burst forth in apricot and raspberry hues. The closing third took Farrier’s excitement about texture to new levels – with hand-painted organza flowers appliquéd on to sheer iridescent silks; heat-bonded prints joining the draped jersey that is the label’s bread and butter to pleated silks without so much as a stitch; and chunky fisherman crochet (1,200 metres in one dress alone to be exact) reimagining florals with verve and wit.
“The DNA of Issa is still very much here,” Farrier was careful to note, “we’re just giving it a new point of view.”

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