SERAFINA SAMA, the Italian-born London-based designer behind her brand Isa Arfen (which is an anagram of her first name), took on a Japanese-inspired aesthetic for her SS18 collection presented in an intimate yet buzzing setting of Somerset House.
For some, the setting was more intimate than for others as a couple was cuddling and kissing on a mattress, dressed in matching ivory cotton outfits. This setting fitted in with Sama’s Japanese inspiration sourced on the peaceful and serene island of Naoshima that the designer had visited last spring where she became infatuated with the romantic atmosphere of this particular season on this particular island.
Spring and romance are central to this collection as ruffled dresses in airy fabrics such as ramie muslin or chiffon were blooming with floral prints and were paired with geta-inspired shoes, traditional Japanese footwear resembling flip-flops on a platform, made by British designer and Sama’s long-term collaborator Charlotte Olympia, who was also present at the Isa Arfen’s offering. These were worn with socks. Feminine cotton wrap shirts and dresses and jacquard coats and jackets had ruffled hems or/and floral accents, expressing the central theme in one way or another.
Then contrasting this romantic scene were cartoonish-looking characters – a model perched on the top of a lifeguard chair with theatrically painted face Japanese-style, wearing white cotton high-waisted culottes with a matching wrap crop top or another model leaning against the same chair wearing a short white iridescent trench coat and thin rectangular sunglasses with white frames. This part of the collection was inspired by the Japanese anime characters which the designer used to watch when growing up as these programmes became popular in Italy at the time.
by Sara Hesikova
Images courtesy of the Starworks Group