Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Issa Rocks!

My first encounter with Issa began after seeing the stunning Dato' Farah Khan wearing one of its printed dresses, a long printed silk jersey halter dress with sash at the Seri Perdana Soiree last year, hosted by Malaysia's First Lady Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Malaysia's independence.

Breathtaking is the word and Issa's prints are true attention grabbers. How Issa started may seem to be quite usual - a woman who couldn't find garbs that she wanted to wear and ends up with her own fashion label - but what sets it apart from the rest of designers who blo
omed from the same genre is that London-based designer Daniella Issa Helayel (thus the label Issa, after her middle name) infuses both glamor and comfort all at the same time, which is the current lifestyle that she lived.

Putting a profound focus on creating perfect dresses, Brazil-born and bred Helayel came up with a simple crisis-free solution - combine silk jersey with vibrant patterns and turn them into marvelous and stunning dresses for all occasions.

Indeed, global fashionistas, especially multitasking women immediately bought the idea and taken by her sweet offering of silk jersey printed dresses that are high maintenance to look, but at the same time, low maintenance to wear and care.

Her first collection, which was rather small and made of silk jersey dresses (all printed in China) with leather and suede pieces, debuted in 2001 was snapped by Brazil's opulence style temple Daslu while the second collection caught the attention of Parisian retailer Maria Luisa and New York's legendary upscale retailer Barney's.

But her big break in fashion came after she debuted the "DJ" dress because the s
ilk jersey dresses were so great to dance in. Furthermore, it also became a popular alternative to stiff and formal business jacket and skirt suits.

Today, Issa's magnificent silk jersey dresses and other apparels are carried by premium upscale stores worldwide such as Barney's New York, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Harrods of London, Middle East's fashion paradise chain Villa Moda, Loveless in Japan and NK Boutique in Brazil. Helayel's creations could also be spotted on the svelte bodies of Kylie Minogue, Sharon Stone, Madonna, Keira Knightley, and Scarlett Johansson as well as top socialites Camilla Al Fayed and Paris Hilton.

For spring/summer 2008, Issa's must have key pieces include purple and blue dungaree shorts embellished with thick silver thread, navy striped blazer sharply tailored and yellow stripe belted mac, as well as the infamous silk jersey dresses, either with flowing long-skirted or with elongated kimono sleeves just to name a few.

Color palettes are made of black, purple, blue, mint, with occasional touches of white and earth tones plus loads of colorful embellishments.

Issa's spring/summer 2008 ready-to-wear and accessories collection is available now at selected retailers worldwide. In Malaysia, Issa is available exclusively to Aseana.

*Photos by

Issa at Aseana - G17-18, Melium Galleria, Ground Floor, Suria KLCC, Jalan Ampang, 50088, Kuala Lumpur.

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