There was a romantic mood in the air for Isa Arfen's SS18 presentation at Somerset House. Flowing fabrics skimmed the floor in striped and illustrated floral prints. Draped wrap dresses and ruffled trims created a feminine look. But it wasn't all soft and delicate.
Styled with a bit of edge, the models had dark, dramatic eyes and contemporary, fashion-forward hair. Gelled over and swept to one side, shaved or pixie cut.
There was a clear influence from the Far East with wedge sandals worn with white socks and traditionally cut garments in rounded shoulders, wrapped waists and maxi-length skirts. These classic design details were blended with contemporary style through cami dresses over t-shirts and trench coats in iridescent fabrics.
A neutral palette was accented with bursts of red, pink and dark green, creating a highly fashionable but wearable collection. Exactly what the brand aims to achieve – real design for real women.
Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Catherine Davison | Fashion Week Photographer | @caedavison
The Isa Arfen presentation took place in The Old Truman Brewery. Models in pretty and pristine pieces from the ready-to-wear collection posed against a backdrop of peeling painted walls.
Each set of models posed in a way that told a snapshot of a story. One picked peas in a gorgeous white summer dress, another arranged flowers and one model could be observed reading magazines, which no doubt will feature Isa Arfen’s looks in the coming months, while wearing a beautiful lilac off the shoulder tier dress that featured a contrasting black bow trim at the neckline. A trio of girls braided each other’s hair in monochrome midi length dresses, two adorned with Keith Haring style prints. Isa Arfen’s influences for this collection are said to be Haring, Grace Jones and the Omo Valley tribes of Ethiopia.
Presenting the collection as she did it was as though the designer (Serafina Sama) was saying ‘here is an outfit for every activity’. You might not automatically think of Isa Arfen’s designs as appropriate for some of the tasks but the presentation did capture the desire to want to wear them all the time, no matter what you were doing.
Off-the-shoulder has been big of late and many think that it’s overexposure has killed it for the time being but Isa Arfen’s muted emerald green off-the-shoulder, double bow-front cut out top will have you lusting for the look once more. And the lilac overcoat with its deep pockets is perfect for the interchangeable English summer.
Here, the recurring trend of ruffles made their mark too, in the form of shoulder detail on a patterned one-piece and printed dress.
Models may have been seen doing some of the most mundane and uninteresting tasks but Isa Arfen’s collection was the exact opposite. It was exciting and intriguing. Simple, yet significant. The designer somehow manages to create pieces that are fuss-free in their appearance but make you want to fuss over them.
Words: Alannah Francis | Fashion Week Press | @AlannahFrancis1
Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Press | @amiecharlot