Isa Arfen – London Fashion Week – AW17

  Through a distillation of masks and identity, this season’s London Fashion Week  saw the collision of exuberance and femininity enter the space of the Truman Brewery, through the presentation of Isa Arfen. Working from the inspiration of Inga Morath’s 1950s and 60s portraits of Saul Steinburgs surreal faces, as well as work from Joan Riviere’s 1927 essay ‘Womanless as a Masquerade,’ Arfen created a collection that not only explored the many dimensions of feminine identity, but also signified a collection that was both playful and meaningful. Through a colour pallet of contrasting tones, such as orange, olive green, Bellini pink, deep purple and acid green, the adult nature of the silhouettes within the collection were altered into a child-like portrayal of what Arfen sees a woman wearing – the collection was indeed one that revealed a sense of enjoyment and playfulness in terms of existing as ‘fashion’, inviting the wearer into the created garments and allowing them to wear the pieces exactly how they wish. Not only was it colour and silhouette that teased with each other, but also a harlequin print, inspired by Artist Helen Bullock, that allowed a certain level of charm to be felt by observers. Arfen’s collection brought level of romance back to what exists within London Fashion Week and allowed onlookers to be part of a scene of intricate femininity, as it collided with both play and its own eccentricity.

Words by Jasmine Banbury 

Images by Rob Parfitt 

With thanks to –

The British Fashion Council 

Isa Arfen