Issa had the misfortune of showing against House of Dereon (yep, that’s Beyoncé’s line with her mom) on Saturday, which was debuting for the first time ever in the UK. The London fashion week press bus (a godsend and also a great way to see the city) was absolutely abuzz about the show, and the poor PR person at Selfridges was undoubtedly inundated with requests (myself included!) And yes, Queen B walked the runway after the show, arm-in-arm with mom Tina. Alas, I wasn’t there to see it, which was fine, because I sat front row at Issa, a line adored by actual royal, Kate Middleton.
Kate has famously worn Issa for high-profile events, like announcing her engagement to Prince William and multiple times during her trip to Canada. Issa is making sure that she has plenty to choose from next spring–especially if she decides to take a trip to Rio’s Carnival. Daniella Helayel, Issa’s designer, hails from Brazil, and Rio de Janeiro was the inspiration for the collection. While a modern version of “Girl from Ipanema” played, models sashayed by with long Middleton-esque waves bouncing in time, some topped with adorable Stephen Jones hats.
A fruity print adorned Issa’s signature nipped-in waist dresses and looser caftans. I cringed just a bit when a print featuring bananas walked by, because Miuccia Prada should sort of have exclusive rights to that motif for all eternity (or at least the year). Some structured pastel shift dresses and prim jackets would look perfect at say, that summer photo op, while white and black lace cocktail dresses seemed a bit random and out of step with the rest of the collection.
Longer chiffon caftans with beading and embroidery were standouts, as was a shockingly tiny bikini. Sweet white eyelet frocks rounded the whole show out. And just to make sure we knew that Issa has Brazil in its DNA, Helayel sent a girl decked out in full-on Carnival headdress and skimpy body suit, prompting hoots from the audience and photog pit alike.
It was a fun show to be sure, with plenty for a princess (and us commoners), to choose from.