Like an unrequited love declaration to the tropics, Issa London’s collection for Spring/Summer 2013 was full to the brim with luxurious depictions of exoticism and feminine allure in a sartorial serenade to Latin America that filled the runway with outstanding prints, flower-encrusted embroideries, flowing silhouettes and a vivid palette that got the audience gasping with delight and cheering the designer with great excitement at the end of the show.
For next year’s warm months, Daniella Helayel (the Brazilian designer behind the label) sought inspiration in “the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, vibrant underwater corals, passion and seduction. We started with our main theme and created mood and print boards of flowers, exotic plants, the sea, skies and corals.” However, Helayel conjured a vision of femininity that went beyond those themes and also evoked the 1970s and how that decade appropriated tailoring from the 1930s and 1940s and added touches of exotic beauty and luxuriousness that were also evident in the choice of show-stealing hair styles, which included Rita Hayworth-esque chignons embellished with orchids.
Renowned models including Cara Delenvingne and Jourdan Dunn sported an array of beautiful high-volume maxi skirts and dresses, draped kimonos, fitted jersey dresses, backless dresses, plunge front dresses and Bahia-style casual dresses in jacquard, satin, crepe de chine and jersey. The vast and seductive colour palette included bright hues, and digital prints (used by the label for the first time, albeit not to their full potential) featured luxurious tropical florals and toucans.