Isa Arfen Interview AW16
How The Original London Clubkids Inspired A Collection

isa arfen

Isa Arfen’s Sarafina Sama on the 80’s blitz kids

Designer of Isa Arfen, Sarafina Sama, grew up in Ravenna, Italy in the eighties and nineties. Sama then moved to London to study at Central Saint Martins where she gained work experience at Marni, Lanvin and Marc Jacobs. After she graduated in 2006, she went on to work at Chloé for two years before moving back to London. It was in 2011 that she launched her eclectic and eccentric label Isa Arfen.

Sama has been heavily influenced by the nineties in her previous collections, but for her London Fashion Week debut, Isa Arfen autumn/winter 2016 was inspired by the seventies and early eighties. She turned to the club kids of the period and examined how they regarded clothing. “The mood board was filled with images of Steve Strange and Siouxsie Sioux, Maripol’s polaroids of Edwige Belmore, Serge Lutens’ photographs and stills from David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes video,” shares Sama. “At the studio we had Big in Japan’s 1978 EP ‘From A to Z and Never Again’ playing on repeat for months.”

The seventies and eighties vibes fuelled a collection of mismatched textiles. Hot pink magenta puffer jackets, yellow taffeta cropped trousers, brown gingham PVC trenches, and black tule ruffled dresses. Referencing the decades in her silhouettes and hemlines, she tops the looks off with extra little frills, and for good measure a sweet bow at the neckline of most of her coats.

While Sama lives for the 90’s and revisited the 70’s  and 80’s discos she compares it to today’s clubs. “Unfortunately, today’s nightlife doesn’t seem quite as exciting. With so much tension, fear and hate in the world, I could relate to that feeling of needing some light heartedness, some fun,” she says. My solution she tells “If a glitter tulle cape or a hot magenta taffeta puff dress can make someone smile and feel like dancing my job is done”.

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All Images Below Isa Arfen AW16

isa arfen aw16
Isa Arfen AW16
isa arfen aw16
Isa Arfen AW16
isa arfen aw16
Isa arfen AW16
Isa Arfen AW16

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Interview: Janine Leah Bartels