As jeans get replaced by livable, easy dresses that function just as well as a pair of your favorite pair of Habituals, ISSA of London, designed by the Brazilian beauty Danielle Issa Helayel, is gaining ground on the international fashion scene. Seen on It girls Scarlett Johanssen, Jasmine Guinness, and Lily Cole, and icons like Madonna, this four-year-old line was conceived on a beach in Rio and a studio in Paddington. ISSA is now pumping out 6,500 dresses a year and
selling to Fred Segal in L.A.; Calypso in New York; and Liberty, Browns, Matches, and Blossom in London. Helayel’s rich jersey creations reproduce prints and solids better than Diane Von Furstenberg’s, and the silhouettes are both flattering and versatile. Strategic nips and tucks, deep V-neck halter tops, and pleats and draping mixed with a fierce color palette of intense solid hues and prints reminiscent of a garden fete all add up to pieces that are easy to dress up or down. The same dress works with round-toed stilettos or with a pair of low-heeled ankle boots and nubby tights. From garden party to street, ISSA is poised to explode. Will ISSA’s success be as intense as the wrap dress of the seventies? Let’s see if Time magazine comes knocking to do a cover story.
Photos: ISSA fall 2005