I was so excited when I received an exclusive invitation from People StyleWatch/STYLE Hunters to preview and pre-shop (yippee me!) the Issa London Collection for Banana Republic yesterday.
What’s the buzz over the Issa collection you ask? Well, it’s just the label that designed the fabulous blue sapphire wrap dress that Kate Middleton wore on the day she and Prince William announced their engagement…!
Upon the release of the photos of Kate wearing this dress, Issa’s dresses sold out almost immediately in both the UK and the US. In addition to being worn by Kate, what makes the dress so desirable is it’s figure flattering style. It looks great on every body type. In fact, the Daily Style even put it to the test in this article. I love how they actually show the dress on different size models.
The dress and a number of other similar wrap versions were recreated by Issa in collaboration with Banana Republic in a line that debuts to the public today. As with anything associated with the lovely Kate Middleton, it’s expected to be HOT, HOT! Here’s a look inside yesterday’s early access event and my review of the collection.
It takes something big for me to leave my kids and make the hour plus commute to the city, but with a hot new collection of clothing beckoning, I was on my way!
After sitting in traffic for what seemed like an eternity (this is why I don’t go to the city very often), I finally arrived!
It was time for some shopping! The collection consisted of around 40 pieces including dresses, tops, cardigans, purse, scarves and jewelry. This was my favorite piece.
After I was done shopping it was time to relax and enjoy some refreshments.
Forget about the clothes for a minute, check out these adorable cookies…almost too cute to eat…almost!
So my impressions of the line…this is one of the versions of the wrap dress and the similar top designed after Kate’s engagement dress —only at a fraction of the cost.
The dress is extremely comfortable and flattering from the front. However, when I looked at my back, all I could see were bumps and bulges. I found the material (a rayon, lyocell, cotton and spandex blend) to be thin and clingy. To wear this dress or the tops fashioned after it, I’d have to wear a body shaper to disguise my back fat and that’s just too much work for me. While the style of this dress is univerally flattering, made in this material, I think it’s better for pear shapes, i.e. those with a lean upper body and not so much back fat, like me!
That said, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Kimono dress I’m wearing above. Here’s a closer look on a model:
It also comes in this pattern:
What I can’t figure out is the fabric content is exactly the same as the wrap knit dress above, but it looks, feels and hangs totally differently. It’s a much heavier material and way more forgiving than the regular knit dress. I also like the cut of this dress better, at least for my figure. It’s two inches shorter than the wrap dress which makes it a little edgier/less conservative than the wrap dress.
Here’s a quick look at a few of the cardies and tops in the collection:
The knit material is gorgeous. Pieces like this are great basics for any closet because they can be dressed up for more of a business wear look or paired with distressed boyfriend jeans and heels for more of a streetstyle chic look.
The accessories in the collection were pretty limited, but here are my picks:
Overall, I think the wrap dress made famous by Kate would have been better if made out of little heavier/not so clingy material, but the Kimono rocks. If they had made tops in that material, I would have been all over them!
What are your impressions of the collection? Are you going to be buying anything from the collection? I’d love to hear about it!