Short, sweet and to the point the Isolated Heroes latest lookbook 'Pleasureland' is a dreamy concoction of glitter, glitter and more glitter. I'm not sure where these photos were taken (although given that they are an independent Scottish designer that does narrow things down) but bonus points for finding the arcade machine 'Cosmic Invaders'. Not only did this setting complement the clothes for the shoot but they also reinforced the idea that they are special pieces to be worn during the evening, or on a fun day out. The signature faux fur coats are back featuring a Peter Pan collar and slightly shorter cut but the real star of the show are those sequined biker jackets. They look insanely good when paired with the sequined halter neck dresses or floaty chiffon-like material with a high thigh split. Just about everything including the sweatshirts were embellished in one way, shape or form with a sequined design or some kind of iconography. Like last season there were love hearts, rainbows, smiley faces and palm trees which are all handmade in the studio.
I loved the styling for this photo shoot with the colours and the graphics of the arcade a continuation of the colourways and designs of this season. While I had previously complained about the use of bindis for a previous shoot (which you can read here) I'm happy to say spray painted glitter and thick hoop earrings were the accessory of choice. While I'm certainly no beauty blogger I also have to adored the subtle eyeshadow, accentuation of brows and use of lip stain. I got Lady Gaga vibes from the sheer amount of modern glamor sequins and attitude, as well as serious hair and courage of the designer to take their brand to the next level. It's incredibly difficult for designers, particularly emerging designers to follow their vision and create clothing which does currently not exist or breath new life into something which has already been expressed. Following the departure of Louise Gray and maybe, even possibly Meadham Kirchhoff's imminent demise the ability for a brand to continue and persevere in this market is largely dependent on how they handle the PR side of their business. But the fact remains, as Susie Bubble said that fashion should be about artistic vision first and commerce second.
The clothes and styling were largely inspired by Miley Cyrus, as was the playful premise of this entire photo shoot. If you've been following my blog for a while now you'll know I don't really care about her or celebrities in general. The only remarkable thing about many celebrities is that they appear accessible to the rest of the world and we can buy into the illusion that we think we know them. However, despite my cynicism I must admit that the work inspired by her stage presence and personal style is something to behold. Isolated Heroes have managed to create a collection which is both eccentric and mischievous, yet able to integrate into daily life. I just loved the glittery pink dresses and matching motorcycle jackets (which I've wanted for ages but never had enough money). Rather than seeming out of place given the visceral and competitive spirit of an arcade the clothes merely enhance this mood. At first I thought the Timberlands were a poor choice in footwear but I stand corrected. Given some thought it seems that the blend between the physicality of this environment as well as the fashion subcultures Isolated Heroes appeals to.
The first previews from this collection featured the fluffy yellow and red jacket. It instantly reminded me of my many years spend playing Pokemon as a child, as well as Tamagotchi and other Japanese electronics. I was electrified for all the right reasons and it was really unlike any of the other faux fur jackets I've seen on the market since. What was equally impressive was finding an equivalent colour to make their Holiday dress in yellow. The colour combinations as well as experimentation with faux fur is more reminiscent of their older collections rather than last season's creations. It's been really interesting watching the brand evolve starting on Asos Marketplace and managing their various social media platforms as a way of world domination while delivering the same kind of glamorous aesthetic I've come to associate with independent brands from the United Kingdom. As far as I can tell no one does it better than Isolated Heroes or takes it as far. It's all a bit exaggerated and yet everything works together really well.
By far the best thing about Isolated Heroes is their size range- they now offer UK sizes 6 through to 24 and their lookbooks have proven that their jackets look just as good on the boys as on the girls. I know it's a little patronizing coming from someone who is not plus size or even an in between but I think it's important as consumers that we can exercise choice. While it may not come across in these photos in particular my understanding is that they do celebrate diversity. Plus they also take custom orders and usually update their Depop account with special sample sale prices. If I can ever save enough dollars I definitely want to get my hands on a sequined biker jacket if I can ever decide on a colour. For the thrifty and crafty folk you could also probably attempt stitching sequins onto a sweatshirt with varying success (depending on how well you sew). If I had enough sequins and spare time I'd be inclined to try it myself but for the moment I am super busy in the wake of fashion week and runway events around the world. Plus if you can afford it you should support the brand who comes up with these lovely ideas whenever possible.
*All photos via Isolated Heroes website