LONDON (AP) -- Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel is known for her easy-to-wear prints, and that's what the Issa founder mainly stuck to Saturday, trotting out a series of well-cut floral and paisley dresses for a Russian-inspired fall/winter collection.
Like many at London Fashion Week Helayel made liberal use of furry caps and fur trim around the shoulders, the brown and gray nicely offsetting her dresses' forest greens and splashes of red. The prints were radiant, with oversize floral motifs, and red-and-blue swirls that looked like the models were wrapped in bubbling lava.
"I loved the really juicy colors," said Bobby Jackson, a 36-year-old chef from Vancouver who came to see the show with a friend. "The paisley prints are very hot this season."
Issa's silky dresses, some capelike, others verging on the kimono, were elegant without extravagance. Except for an almost completely transparent outfit that drew a few giggles, the collection might have gone straight to the rack.
That no-nonsense style has helped endear the designer to the likes of the former Kate Middleton, who famously wore a deep blue Issa dress when announcing her engagement to Prince William.
Fashion journalist Henry Conway said before the show that the royal connection had helped turned Issa into a global name.
And in a nod to some of the more adventurous numbers -- including a lacy, backless hot red dress that captured the photographers' eye -- he said that Helayel was moving out of her comfort zone.
"The brand is really developing," he said. "She's moved on from just the prints."
London Fashion Week: http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/