The Issa Fall 2013 collection opened with Cara Delevingne in an eye-catching, oversize feathered fedora, and from there, the '70s feeling only intensified. Printed maxis layered over brown crewneck polos, floor-length sheepskin coats, and even more feather-laden hats took the runway, providing a wearable retro lineup for the girl who dresses for fun and sophistication. Of course, we're also hoping to see Kate Middleton in some of the more plush outerwear. Click through to see the complete collection.
Tropical prints and luxe, breezy silhouettes in bright hues made Issa's Spring lineup just the sort you'd look to for your next beach vacation. Designers Daniella Helayel and Camilla Al Fayed tapped into Helayel's Brazilian roots with a tropical-inspired turn, right down to the orchids adorning every model's hair. True, the more attention-getting prints may not be for fans like Kate Middleton, but they were gorgeous to watch all the same, on a set of maxi dresses, jumpsuits, and top and trouser sets. As for the looks Kate Middleton would wear, a lineup of brilliant jersey dresses wrapped at the waist fit the bill. Others with a sexier twist, via cutouts, are a testament to the label's modern femininity and overall likeability — they're the kind of easy, beautiful dresses women want to wear.
- Trends: Brights, tropical floral prints, jumpsuits.
- Colors: Bright red, orange, fuchsia, green, citrus tones, and cobalt blue.
- Key Piece: While the tropical prints are beautifully whimsical, the solid cobalt gown with the plunging neckline is stunning.
- Accessories: Strappy sandals, gold bangles, cuffs, and chunky statement necklaces.
- Who Should Wear It: We hope to see Kate Middleton in any of the solid, brightly hued gowns.
For Spring 2013, Daniella Helayel's Issa line is headed to paradise in the form of botanical prints, floral embroidery, and vibrant sunset hues. According to the show's notes, the designer was inspired by "the all-encompassing tropical leaves and plants" that one might see on an exotic beach holiday, and thus this season's batch of dresses came in breezy silhouettes so romantic they were just begging to be taken on a seaside stroll. But don't let the "Garden of Eden" theme scare you: Issa has made a name for itself by creating pieces that are feminine and pretty, yes, but also utterly wearable — and there's plenty of those options here. One mixed-print pants look in vibrant fuchsia, for example, would work just fine on any city street, while a series of embellished-hem fit-and-flare dresses in solid hues could easily go from day to night anywhere — and are sure to tempt Issa's biggest fan, Kate Middleton. And what about those knotted and draped jersey gowns in vivid hues that turned up midway through the show? Well, those are so sexy it's pretty easy to imagine them turning up on a red carpet sometime in the near future, too.
>> Camilla Al Fayed, the 26-year-old daughter of former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed (and half sister to Princess Diana's boyfriend at the time of her death), has bought a 51 percent controlling stake in Issa. The London fashion label made headlines worldwide last year when Kate Middleton revealed her engagement in an Issa dress, and Middleton continues to wear pieces designed by Daniella Helayel, who founded and funded the company until now.
Al Fayed will take the title of chairwoman and plans to oversee global expansion of the brand, while Helayel, who continues to hold a 49 percent stake in the label, will remain as creative director. “The investment will help to grow the business and take it to the next level,” said Helayel. “I looked at a lot of investors, and Camilla came with the best fit. She has the infrastructure behind her, she’s well connected, and she will open a lot of doors.”
Al Fayed, for her part, noted that this could be the first of a series of investments, adding: “I believe in Daniella’s creativity; she is a friend; I admire her passion and drive, and I see potential in making Issa a global lifestyle brand.”
Frontrunner Bruce Oldfield Bows Out of Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress Race; Vera Wang Rumored to Be Involved Somehow
>> Bruce Oldfield, who has been tipped as the frontrunner to design Kate Middleton's wedding dress for months now, has confirmed that he is not Middleton's choice: “It has been such a subject of rumor and speculation over the past months, but I am not designing it. We will all know [on Friday] — and I thought I’d duck out of the ‘possibles list’ to give everyone 24 hours to place their final bets!” He added: “Catherine will undoubtedly look spectacular. She has a fantastic figure and knows well what suits her. I shall be intrigued to see her choice of design.”
With Oldfield out of the race, speculation is honing in on the other likely candidates who have not yet issued denials: Catherine Walker, a favorite of Princess Diana; Alice Temperley, and Daniella Helayel from Issa. Also entering late in the game: Jenny Packham, whose spokesperson said yesterday is “not commenting at all on the wedding.”
Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, Sophie Cranston of Libelula, and Phillipa Lepley have all also been reported as frontrunners, but all have denied repeatedly that they're working on the dress.
And Vera Wang's name has surfaced as having some kind of role in the wedding, but WWD thinks "that seems highly unlikely" — particularly that Wang, an American, would be chosen to do the dress. Although: sources apparently indicated that the designer may be involved at another level. A Vera Wang spokeswoman denied the designer is involved with the wedding, however, last night.
A newly-released Mario Testino portrait of the Middleton and Prince William, above.
Admittedly, we've been eying Kate Middleton's engagement photos with envy, but it's not just because of the rock, or her fiancé. Actually, since we spied the soon-to-be princess smiling in her easy, sexy, royal blue silk jersey dress, we've wanted to add a piece of the Issa label to our own wardrobes. As luck would have it, the London-based Issa founder and designer, Daniella Helayel, got the message. With sights set on expanding the label into a global brand, Daniella announced plans to relaunch in the US, offer ecommerce through the Issa website, and open six stores in her native Brazil. And, if you're wondering what might be in store for Fall, this designer's got more to love than Kate's little blue dress: "I've got an amazing print archive and hundreds of dress shapes — most of which have never been used."
>> Kate Middleton now has the ring — Princess Diana's own engagement ring, an 18 carat sapphire surrounded by diamonds — but what about the dress?
Now that it has been officially announced that Middleton and Prince William are to wed in Spring or Summer 2011, wedding dress speculation is sure to follow. But Middleton typically goes without big designer labels, instead preferring jeans, tailored jackets from the British designer Katherine Hooker, and practical carryall bags from Longchamp.
She also favors brands like Jigsaw, the high street chain whose owners are old friends of her parents, and Issa, the London-based label known for its jersey and cotton-printed dresses. For the official engagement photos today, Middleton wore a simple blue Issa dress, and the British press are already speculating that Issa's Brazilian-born creator and owner, Daniella Helayel, will do Middleton's wedding dress, as well.