Tropical, sexy and very, very hot: Issa's slinky, vibrant collection conjured up the spirit of summer
13:47 GMT, 16 September 2012
Who wouldn't want to be the Issa woman Willowy, impossibly sexy and clad in colourful, fluid silk, she looks like she's just stepped off a superyacht. It helps, too, that designer Daniella Helayel always puts on a good show.
The music is pumping, the hour late, the buzz contagious. Her models are exquisite – not for her lobotimised pale girls with glazy eyes – but rather voluptuous (within the parameters of the unwritten catwalk code of course) women with beautiful bodies and bright red lips.
Maxi factor: Jourdan Dunn, left, in one of the beautiful silk gowns that dominated the collection
Long lines: A buttercup yellow maxi and bright cobalt jumpsuit
The unabashed glamour is an antidote to the directional, difficult clothes seen elsewhere at London Fashion Week. These are eminently wearable pieces that will go straight from the catwalk to the closet without passing go – yet somehow still manage to be extraordinary.
Her preternaturally sensual collections are always a riot of colour – scarlet, orange and pink are frequently favourites, as well as chartreuse, buttercup yellow and jade.
Daniella's shows would not be without the long, flowing lines of the silk maxis that have come to be the Brazilian-born designer's trademark – and here she did not disappoint.
Elegant floorsweepers came in hot pink (another shade that is certain to prevail next summer), vivid red and tangerine, as well as a tropical print that saw toucans peeking out from behind rainforest foliage.
A leaf motif, printed on acres of silk for a halterneck maxi dress or on a billowing kaftan, recalled Daniella's Brazilian roots, while a jade green column gown had the front row's camera phones flashing.
Tangerine dream: Orange and buttercup yellow maxis provided a splash of citrus
A riot of colour: Daniella Helayel always injects her collections with vivid hues and vibrant prints
Tropical: Toucan prints, leaves and bright rainforest florals recalled Daniella's Brazilian roots
The carnival girls of last season were missing – this was an altogether more reserved offering, if you can call spray-on gowns revealing seductive slivers of skin and plunging necklines demure – but wow, those evening dresses… they made up for any lack of feathered headdresses and beaded bikini bottoms.
I loved a fluid jumpsuit with tropical print and every one of those maxis, as well as the orchids in the swept-up hair and the chunky gold jewellery at wrists and throat.
Kelly Brook sat front row with rugby playing boyfriend Thom Evans – with her curves and tiny waist she is the perfect Issa woman – flanked on either side by Jodie Kidd and Roman Abramovich's elegant wife Dasha Zhukova.
Spirit of summer: The Issa woman looks like she has just stepped off a superyacht
Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise: Snake shoes in purple and pink
Mohammed Al Fayed, whose daughter Camilla bought a controlling 51 per cent share in the business in July last year, was sat front row too – and praised the business his daughter is running alongside Daniella.
The show opened to Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs by Garden
'It was absolutely fabulous,' he told MailOnline after the show. 'What you saw tonight was a collaboration between Daniella and my daughter. Camilla and Daniella designed it together in partnership,' he said. 'They both have a great talent. They are doing wonderful things.'
In fact, Mr Al Fayed said both daughters are proving their worth in the fashion world. 'Jasmine too is doing so well,' he said. 'She's also a fashion designer.'
Asked if he enjoyed the show, Mr Al Fayed gave a wry laugh, saying simply,'I'm retired and unemployed. I do nothing now. I'm just relaxing and enjoying the show.'
Of course, this was a disingenuous reply for the successful businessman who sold luxury department store Harrods to the Qatari Royal Family in 2010. Since then, he has remained firmly in the retail world thanks to his purchase of online discount designer store Cocosa last year.
Catwalk ready: Kelly Brook attended the show with her boyfriend, the rugby star Thom Evans