Daniella Helayel, the flamboyant Brazilian designer behind Issa and more recently Dhela, has collaborated with us here at KOOVS.com on The Princess Collection. The turning point for Daniella was when Kate Middleton wore one of her designs to announce the royal engagement; overnight her loyal following of women grew by thousands, all wanting a piece of the princess’s beloved brand.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore Daniella’s dresses on numerous occasions, from the Canadian Tour to an event at the Goring Hotel on the eve of the 2011 royal wedding. It’s not just Kate who swears by the archetypal wrap dress, her sister Pippa has also worn a raspberry version of the navy “Forever” dress. Vibrant prints, bright colours and her trademark draped silk-jersey dresses all make an appearance in the collection. Every design is ideal for SS17 but versatile enough to become a capsule in any modern woman’s wardrobe.
Want to find out more about the lady behind the designs? Delve into our interview below…
WHAT WAS YOUR PROCESS AND INSPIRATION FOR CREATING THE DANIELLA HELAYEL X KOOVS COLLECTION?
The KOOVS collaboration is inspired by my favourite shapes from past personal collections. These key pieces are all timeless, seasonless and ageless, which is why such an array of celebrities have worn them. Women like Madonna, Scarlett Johansson, Alessandra Ambrosio, the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton, Eva Mendez and Jennifer Lopez- to name a few.
The silhouettes from this collaboration are classics with a modern spin; they wouldn’t look out of place on the likes of Marilyn Monroe nor the 'it' girls of today. They are created to make women feel special and embrace their figures. The silhouettes remain timeless to juxtapose the fun prints, strong colours and touches of monochrome. I love that this collection has everything from summer dresses in cotton to occasion-wear gowns. It’s got all you need to help a girl find her enchanted prince and fall in love.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN AESTHETIC?
DHELA is still very much ‘me’, it's an evolution from Issa and has been influenced by the things I’ve seen, done and experienced since having a couple of years away from the industry.
IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO NEW DESIGNERS WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Dream, and dream big.
HOW HAS YOUR PERSONAL BRAND DEVELOPED SINCE THE DAYS OF ISSA TO THE PRESENT DHELA?
ISSA it is still my style and design DNA, but at the same time it is an evolution and the next step. With DHELA I’m very interested in developing knitwear styles and working with technology that didn’t exist whilst I was at Issa. My design philosophy when I founded Issa in 2001 was to create well cut, timeless clothes that would empower women and make them feel confident in their own skin. This has never changed and never will.
I design for women to feel like the best version of themselves. For them to look glamorous, beautiful and elegant whilst being able to get on with their lives; whether they’re businesswomen, mothers or dressing for a party. Both brands focus on flattering shapes, gorgeous colours, lots of prints and bringing a bit of easy elegance to a woman’s wardrobes. DHELA is very much about who I am right now.
IS THERE A SPECIFIC WOMAN YOU HAVE IN MIND WHEN YOU’RE DESIGNING?
I’m designing for a modern, global and independent woman. Someone who is not obsessed by the latest trends, but wants to look elegant whilst being free to move from a working day to a night of dating and dancing. It’s luxurious yet accessible, fashionable yet timeless and easy to wear for any body type.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE THAT FASHION WAS THE INDUSTRY YOU WANTED TO GO INTO?
I always wanted to be a designer. As a little girl, I loved to make paper dolls and design clothes for them. I started designing when I moved to London in June 2000. I became very creative and obsessed with prints. I knew early on that print would become my signature.
DO YOU HAVE A STANDOUT PIECE FROM THIS COLLABORATION, AND HOW WOULD YOU STYLE IT?
I think they are all stunning and I’m very happy with the outcome. I would style them with nice elegant heels, a beautiful red lipstick and some gorgeous jewellery. I love all the long dresses and gowns- they’re clothes for a woman to catch her PRINCE!
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