Pulling aside a draped curtain, one enters a beaten up and industrial style room in The Old Truman Brewery. Hidden at the top of the delapatated building just off Brick Lane Isa Arfen hosted their London Fashion Week Showcase. The AW17 presentation was showcased against a backdrop of beaten-up bricks and exposed piping contrasting against the beautiful bright pops of colour that the Isa Arfen team curate so beautifully.
A Central Saint Martins graduate and Italian born, creative director Serafina Sama founded the luxury womenswear brand through her own vision of an eclectic palette and a strong and modern, image of femininity. The AW17 collection displayed draws from inspirations in Fellini’s Clowns and the concept of womanhood as a masquerade. The result was a tongue-in-cheek, playful and skittish collection using a rouge element of exuberant femininity to draw the audience into the carnival.
Set to a flamboyant concerto of strings overdubbed with an interview discussing fashion as a vehicle for social change, the stone-faced models played with the onlooking cameras as they walked around a pre-drawn track, in the shape of three abstract faces. With a conceptual element to the presentation, the models blurred the outlines of the track with their feet as they walked, thus communicating the blurring of human form, identity and boundary.
Highly contrasting, the colour palette stayed strongly in theme with the carnivalesque elements of the collection. Pops of deep purple, bright green and cayenne-orange, applied in a jacquard material, brought an almost childlike satisfaction and humour to the collection, evened out by a gentler palette of taupe, bellini pink, olive green and grey. Fabrics are rich and luxurious, toying with the concept as womanhood as a masquerade, with garments in crushed velvets, sumptuous satin, hyper-feminine tulle and sheer silks. This is topped off by the final piece, a terrific faux-fur, jacquard coat; paying tribute to the ‘trophy furs’ often found in luxury womenswear without compromising brand ethos.
With a highly styled finish, including a blunt and rough-edged beauty aesthetic paired with accessorising in the form of nude fishnet tights and a ‘Clockwork Orange’ style lower lash line, the collection dripped with togetherness and fully immersed the audience in the playfulness and glamour of the garments.
Styling: Valentine Fillol-Cordier
Make Up: Andrew Gallimore at CLM Hair& Make-Up and the NARS team
all Make-Up provided by NARS
Hair: Kota Suizu at Caren using Bumble & Bumble
Nails: Lead Manicurist Roxanne Campbell
Set Design: Andrea Cellerino
Music: Jimmy Lee
Casting: Shelley Durkan
Shoes: Charlotte Olympia for Isa Arfen
Jewelry: Sonia Boyajian for Isa Arfen