Thursday, December 10, 2015

Issa London // Spring 2016 //

When you plug Issa London into a Google Images search you’re immediately met with a suggestion. “Kate Middleton.” The Duchess of Cambridge announced her engagement to Prince William wearing the blue silk wrap dress that is now famous. The dress sold out almost instantaneously. Women everywhere lusted after the dress and thus the label too. The dress brought an insurmountable support to the brand and it still thrives today. During London Fashion Week in September, creative director Jamie O’Hare presented the Spring 2016 collection. Hosted at Brewer Street Car Park, the Sunday midday showing was a pleasant start to day 3. 

Inspired by the “repeating motifs in nature,” the collection showcased commentary on the preciseness of nature. “There [is] this amazing contradiction—we tend to think of nature as something soft and slightly haphazard, but the order and strict geometry of these repeating patterns offered a viewpoint that we wanted to explore.” The inspiration didn’t exactly echo the collection. Also referenced on the press release is the recurring motif of electric circuitry, which I believe spoke louder than anything else. The opened coat featured silver hardware that achieved the geometric aspect of the inspiration. The same goes for the silk black dress with sheer detailing and silver hardware. 
The segues into each part of the collection were subtle and unassuming. When you look at the collection as a whole, the amount of variety is great. The only time I can say the collection went awry was with the draped tie-dye pieces. They were unflattering and underwhelming.

Lily Donaldson’s finale mini dress had 3-D rings, squared off in a grid-like print. The look wasn’t a particularly exciting finish to the collection. A fleet of all-white dresses were sent down the runway earlier in the collection. They would have made a better finish to this collection.  

O’Hare has amassed great experience. He worked at Max Mara, Chloé and Roberto Cavalli—three very different brands. An Issa London collection needs the combination of all three. There is the Parisian attitude of Chloé, an Italian luxuriousness of Max Mara, and the glamour of Cavalli. I also recognised sampling of Isabel Marant in the mix. Issa under O’Hare has yet to find its identity; I sincerely hope he does.

Images Courtesy of Issa London

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