For her latest collection, Isa Arfen looked to the body painting and decoration of the Omo Valley tribes in Ethiopia and the beautifully primitive way they express femininity. Malian photographer Seydou Keïta’s Fifties and early Sixties portraits of Malian women and a dash of Nineties ethnic chic were also in the pot of inspiration.
A sophisticated mix of fabrics including tapestry, jacquard, organza, striped linen, crepe and crushed metallic cotton kept things urban and modern, while details like the feathered trim on the sleeve of a khaki-and-white shirt worn with a pair of black cigarette pants painted with bold tribal strokes actually looked a little Keith Haring-ish.
Serafina Sama ran with her theme via painterly touches on other pieces like a micro corseted playsuit, a full-skirted black dress and on an off-the-shoulder black dress with frilly white organza sleeves. These were the kind of clothes that street-style stars will wear, and which will be instantly recognized as Sama’s handiwork.
Even the more pared-down looks stood out, for example, yellow high-waisted peg trousers and an asymmetric white cotton top, or the great 7/8-length cobalt-blue wide-leg culottes that were teamed with a white organza short sleeve tunic that had an asymmetric drop-waist skirt.