Daniella Helayel’s feminine fingerprints were all over this collection, her second for the label she founded last year. Followers of her now-dormant Issa brand will rejoice to see the Brazilian designer has only improved with age, and that her talent for making flattering silhouettes has not faded.
The collection, which is hanging on racks at the London Fashion Week showrooms at 180 Strand, did not need a catwalk or a fancy presentation to tell its story. Colors and patterns were inspired by the muted reds and greens of Peru’s surreal Rainbow Mountains and rock formations, while the shapes were classic Helayel — caftans, trompe l’oeil wrap dresses with fitted, belted waists, and A-line and skater styles, too.
Knit dresses were made from a curve-enhancing, high-powered Lycra spandex, and had a single ruffle around the neckline and a flared skirt, while belted silk chiffon numbers were printed and shot through with gold threads. A long, burgundy velvet dress with a cutout back and a high waist had subversive sex appeal, as did a hooded velvet cape.
Abstract colored patterns, mimicking Peru’s wonders, washed across ponchos, roomy sweaters, caftans and one elegant crepe de chine dress with button cuffs.