LONDON Feb 16 Brazilian-born designer Daniella
Helayel, whose clothes have become a firm favourite of Kate
Middleton, sent her models down the catwalk on the second day of
London Fashion Week in printed chiffon kaftans, woven jacquards
and geometric patterns.
The label is known for its colourful printed dresses and
elegant evening gowns.
Models strode down the catwalk in thick jackets with
shearling and fur linings over geometric printed dresses,
knitted jumpers and wide brimmed hats topped with eagle
The collection was inspired by the rugged landscape of the
Navajo Indians, Helayel told Reuters backstage after the show.
"There are lots of feathers, lots of feather prints, it was
also inspired by rugs, different textures and body paints," said
Helayel, who counts the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William's
wife, among her customers.
There were no plans however, in spite of recent speculation,
to launch a maternity line to the brand, she added.
Thick woven jacquards were shown in a blend of warm ochres,
rich caramels, sandy beiges and mossy greens, and layered over
pleated trousers, shirt dresses and fitted jackets.
Full-length dresses were cinched in at the waist with wide
belts, and loosely tailored suits were paired with patterned
shirts - as part of Helayel's experimentation with different
textures and abstract patterns this season.
"The prints are always amazing, and they're always relevant.
They are completely timeless," said Brix Smith Start, stylist
and TV presenter.
"But it's also the fit and the easy elegance of the dresses.
It's great for day wear but then you can re-accessorise for
night, and the gowns are great. It's a brand that I've watched
for a long time," she added.
The collection also featured simple knitted separates in
burnt orange, russet red and deep plum, with the dresses layered
over turtle neck sweaters. Models wore their hair loosely
braided down their backs, with simple pared down make-up.
"It was a much cooler woman this season," said Helayel. "She
didn't want to be made up... she is very nomadic, so her look
was no make-up, smudgy eyes, pale skin, very fresh, and the hair
like quite messy."
Monochrome patterns were printed onto figure-hugging
dresses, shirts and skirts, and fitted dresses were embellished
with colourful beaded collars and feathers.
The designer finished the show with an elegant blue evening
gown in crepe de chine fabric and intricate jewelled beading,
fit perhaps for a future queen to wear.