"It's Isa Arfen," girlfriends would whisper, when asked about
So, after the third mention, it was time to discover the story
behind the label beloved by Alexa Chung, Tennessee Thomas and
Charlotte Dellal, with a studio visit to meet Italian designer
Serafina Sama in her lofty North Kensington atelier.
After graduating from Central Saint Martins, Serafina put in the
groundwork with internships at labels including Marni, Lanvin and
Marc Jacobs before working at Chloe for two years.
She returned to London in 2008, got married and had a baby. But
the desire to design flared up. So in 2011, Serafina made a small
collection of summer dresses for her friends, inspired by the
photographs of Slim Aarons. Every last one was sold. It was the
beginning of a label she named Isa Arfen - an anagram of
The new Spring/Summer collection is inspired by David Hockney's
1960s paintings of Palm Springs; colours include a well-irrigated
emerald lawn green, Hollywood wife pink, Campari red and swimming
pool blue with playful and exotic raffia trims and voluminous
Gamine and enchanting, Serafina is the kind of girl who embraces
Italian high-society eccentricity, designs the perfect evening
trouser and effortlessly transforms her daily uniform of jeans and
a t-shirt by slinging on a cape or coat. My kind of girl.