The Relaunch of Issa London - Exclusively at House of Fraser

Last week, I had to pinch myself a LOT. I was invited along to the re-launch of one of Kate Middleton's favourite brands, Issa London, literally in Kate's back garden at the Orangery in Kensington Palace!
It is a beautiful building, with massive windows overlooking the gardens and the set up for the event was stunning with a rainbow of colours along the long table. I sat at the Orange/Yellow section. You can see the effect (and the string quartet) on the next photo:

I was in my happy place....
There's thankfully only one 'official' photo of me...deep in conversation with Lucy from House of Fraser who designed the whole range. You can also see Nikki from Midlife Chic in green - my date for the night. More on that again!
I was asked to select something from the range to wear on the evening - not an easy thing to do without seeing the dresses in the flesh but after being drawn to the lookbook photo, I chose this one:
Shoes - by Bruno Premi from Honey Essential Collection, Belfast
(Photo credit - Nikki from Midlife Chic)
It's a jersey midi dress in one of the iconic Issa London prints - it's meant to be lips but I think it's got more than a bit of animal print going on. For me, it was not just the print and fit but the fact that this dress has the potential to work in so many situations. Add some ankle boots or trainers and it's casual, mid heels and a blazer, and it's work appropriate, a fur shrug and sky high barely there sandals, and it's ready to go 'out-out'.
Size-wise, I'm wearing the 10 which is spot on. It's clingy because of the style of the dress and the material - a kind of sheeny jersey (not the official term!) but that didn't worry me because it's fully lined and anyway, this dress needs curves to work. So I stuck on my spanx pants and added a two sizes bigger bra and bob's your uncle! 
But can we take a moment to appreciate these shoes? They are my 'better back' gift to myself simply because they're probably the worst thing to wear with a dodgy back. Actually, the shape of them and the fact that they're so exquisitely made, means that they're as kind to the back as a stiletto high heel can be. I wore them all evening and didn't have a rub or blister, nor was my back sore the next day.
I bought them in Honey Essential Boutique on the Lisburn Road in Belfast and they were in the sale. If you're local, it's worth popping in fast because there are some amazing reductions at the moment...but only for a short time. If you're not near Belfast, check out their Instagram as they share lots their stock on here and can do postal sales over the phone.
Back to the dress and I wanted to tell you that it didn't crease one bit despite being rolled in a ball in a suitcase on my travels. The day I got home from London, I threw it in the washing machine and it dried on a hanger overnight, ready for its next outing! That's my kind of dress.

I should say here that in case you've not heard of the brand, Kate Middleton famously wore one of their dresses when she got engaged to William
The brand subsequently dressed Kate on a number of occasions but being a small company, they struggled to keep up with the demand for their clothing because of Kate. There followed a couple of changes in ownership and the brand even went out of business briefly. Last year, Issa London was acquired by House of Fraser, who have relaunched it at a more affordable price point, while still retaining lots of elements of what made the brand so successful in its early days, like the flattering cut of their jersey dresses and the stunning prints.

So what else does the collection have to offer? The whole range is on this link but having seen a few real people wearing the dresses, I thought I'd give you my three favourites that are currently in stock. Lots of the range has sold out or is getting close to selling out - though further drops of new styles are scheduled to arrive in coming weeks.
Starting with another iconic Issa print that I think is perfect for winter. This dress would work so well with black tights and ankle boots. I adore the colours in this print:
What I'm most excited about for the new lines still to drop is that there's a long sleeved version of my dress in this darker print. As modelled by one of the House of Fraser team in this next picture. Watch this space:
 This next one is for a special occasion - check out the embellishment! I had admired it in the lookbook but was blown away when I saw Zoe from Dress Like a Mum wearing it:
ISSA Mila Embellished Dress - £179 (also comes in yellow)
and this next dress would be amazing at an event this season thanks to the amazing colour. I adore pleats and I think this is a winner in the day to night stakes as I could see it with a denim jacket and flat sandals in warmer weather: 

Issa also launched a range of occasion bags that are incredibly well priced. I love this one in the iconic Issa print. Limited stock at the moment. It comes in 3 colour ways.
Finishing with my claim to fame - though I wasn't fully aware of it. I had no idea who this girl was when she arrived (though I was given the low down when I asked!). No, of more interest to me is what Millie Mackintosh was wearing on the night, another STUNNING Issa dress that's yet to drop.
 I'll let you know when it does. It will retail at £99. Love how she's accessorised it with a gold belt.

You can see the whole Issa London collection on this link and in store at House of Fraser. Thank you to the HOF team for the invite to this event. I wasn't paid to be there and I'm not being paid to write this blog post. I was gifted the dress and clutch I wore on the night. Back to porridge this week again but my back is improving and that is giving me lots to be happy about. I even managed not to throw my laptop at the wall when this blog post crashed the first time I wrote it (entirely) and I had to rewrite from scratch! 




  1. Looks wonderful, I love your dress!

    I have a new outfit post up on the blog, would love to know your thoughts:

    * Electric Sunrise - Fashion and Lifestyle Blog *


  2. What an experience Avril, you look gorgeous as do the other bloggers too. Do ISSA do tops as well or is it mainly dresses they specialise in? Cant see any tops on the web site.

    1. Thank you Lynne - it was an amazing night. Yo answer your question, at the moment, it's all occasion wear so just dresses, clutches and some dressier jackets. I must ask if separates will be a thing going forward-I'll let you know x

  3. Those shoes😍 Which brand?

    1. Bruno Premi - from Honey on the Lisburn Road! x

  4. Oh Avril what fun we had. You're absolutely right that your dress needed curves and you looked fabulous in it. I wonder if those poor Japanese chaps made their early flight the next morning after you taught them to do tequila shots so expertly! Big kiss and can't wait till the next time xxx


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