For her first official collection as creative director of Issa, it would have been easy for Blue Farrier to stick to the script of wrap dresses, jewel-box colors, and a holiday vibe. Instead, she injected some British eccentricity into the brand known for its Brazilian exuberance—first by adding a bit of menswear to the lineup. A white shirt with tuxedo and suspender detailing and a flirty tank top and skirt with grosgrain-ribbon trim borrowed directly from the boys. Polka-dot sleeve details (taken from a man's cravat) added interest to a silk jersey dress, while a slouchy pajama-style tuxedo suit had a louche seventies vibe. And a thick peplum top with detachable cuff sleeves constructed from a high-powered Lycra was the result of Farrier's efforts to up the quality of fabric beyond the Issa mainstay of silk jersey. "I wanted to show that we can do the fun Issa thing, but also that sharp tailoring and superior fabrics can be present as well."

London's posh Mayfair neighborhood was another inspiration for Farrier—she was parachuted there out of her normal office for the first few weeks of her tenure and landed in a Park Lane spot belonging to company chairwoman Camilla Al Fayed. As she is a South East London girl, the area was so different for her—and charmed her so much—that she worked it into the collection. Illustrations of stately Georgian homes and the trellises, urns, and stone dogs that adorn many of their doorsteps turned up as a tiny print on silk skirts and blouses.

Farrier also updated the Issa classics: The now famous "Kate Middleton" dress had a lower waist, pockets, and roll neck. The signature fit-and-flare dress that is the brand's top seller was done in a spunky new jacquard. The designer took risks with her color palette, too. Not everyone is going to wear a turmeric or mustard suit or a shiny gold bullion-colored blouse. This lineup was not safe or shy, but the good news for Farrier is neither is the Issa customer. With this collection, she has well and truly made her point: Things are gonna change around here.