On a colder than usual February night, Ashley Isham promised us a midsummer night’s dream, a luscious Titania to banish those winter blues.
And, Isham certainly didn’t disappoint - the first looks were short sexy party dresses in rich green and blues, velvets with wild floral prints topped with
showstopping flora headdresses that bloomed over the model’s faces. Bright, floral party dresses are perhaps an unusual offering for an autumn winter
collection, but the luxurious fabric kept the pieces relevant and the deep hues added a warming edge. What’s more - the models’ pale complexions and
dark lips gave a wintry dimension while their simple ponytails kept things fresh. Shoulders were the major erogenous zone for Isham this season and
were the center of attention, thanks to the plethora of strapless and one shoulder dresses.
It’s not hard to see that Isham’s target market is a wild-child party gal who likes to keep things sexy and short, but it isn’t afraid to be avant garde.
The immaculate socialites perched on the front row were testament to this. There were billowing gowns with delicate draping (designers don’t seem to be
able to get enough of the drape this season-looks like we’ll all be going ape for drape come September), which were given a high fashion edge thanks to
the ever-growing headdresses, but their vivid hues- electric blue and bright purple - added wearability off the runway. Midway through our midwinter
night’s dream, Isham’s collection spilt into two colour palettes. The initial eye poppingly bright pieces, perfect for the pagan party girl, and then a selection
of looks predominantly in silvery hues with slippery sequin adornment. The former was the livelier, stronger part of the collection. But that’s not to say the
cooler toned pieces lacked brilliance. Some were designed in a silver birch Jacquard, which mimicked Isham’s woodland theme perfectly and there was
one piece in particular that will no doubt be gracing a red carpet quicksharp: A dress with a bustier so cunningly beaded that it looked as though it were
armour and a draped (there it is again) jersey train.
Isham’s Fall ‘11 offering was a clear carry on from his SS 11 ‘East of Eden’ collection, enchanted and charming but with a darker, spellbound side.
Here is a designer who isn’t afraid to play with colour, his splashes of sapphire, emerald, magenta and coral warmed our fashion cockles even in the
Venture Into Ashley Isham's Midsummer Night’s Dream
By Isabella Redmond Styles
POSTED February 19, 2011