Geometric prints, tribal warriors inspire Issa London

LONDON Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:45pm GMT

1 of 2. Issa designer Daniella Helayel (R), with model Cara Delevingne, accepts applause from guests after presenting the Issa Autumn/Winter 2013 collection during London Fashion Week, February 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris

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LONDON (Reuters) - Brazilian-born designer Daniella Helayel, whose clothes have become a firm favourite of Kate Middleton, sent her models down the catwalk on the second day of London Fashion Week in printed chiffon kaftans, woven jacquards and geometric patterns.

The label is known for its colourful printed dresses and elegant evening gowns.

Models strode down the catwalk in thick jackets with shearling and fur linings over geometric printed dresses, knitted jumpers and wide brimmed hats topped with eagle feathers.

The collection was inspired by the rugged landscape of the Navajo Indians, Helayel told Reuters backstage after the show.

"There are lots of feathers, lots of feather prints, it was also inspired by rugs, different textures and body paints," said Helayel, who counts the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William's wife, among her customers.

There were no plans however, in spite of recent speculation, to launch a maternity line to the brand, she added.

Thick woven jacquards were shown in a blend of warm ochres, rich caramels, sandy beiges and mossy greens, and layered over pleated trousers, shirt dresses and fitted jackets.

Full-length dresses were cinched in at the waist with wide belts, and loosely tailored suits were paired with patterned shirts - as part of Helayel's experimentation with different textures and abstract patterns this season.

"The prints are always amazing, and they're always relevant. They are completely timeless," said Brix Smith Start, stylist and TV presenter.

"But it's also the fit and the easy elegance of the dresses. It's great for day wear but then you can re-accessorise for night, and the gowns are great. It's a brand that I've watched for a long time," she added.

The collection also featured simple knitted separates in burnt orange, russet red and deep plum, with the dresses layered over turtle neck sweaters. Models wore their hair loosely braided down their backs, with simple pared down make-up.

"It was a much cooler woman this season," said Helayel. "She didn't want to be made up... she is very nomadic, so her look was no make-up, smudgy eyes, pale skin, very fresh, and the hair like quite messy."

Monochrome patterns were printed onto figure-hugging dresses, shirts and skirts, and fitted dresses were embellished with colourful beaded collars and feathers.

The designer finished the show with an elegant blue evening gown in crepe de chine fabric and intricate jewelled beading, fit perhaps for a future queen to wear.

(Additional reporting by Lotte Williams; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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