September 16, 2011 London
Backstage, designer Daniella Issa Helayel gushed about the new management: "She's so inspiring. And she brings access to the best of the best." Truer words were never spoken. Al Fayed attended with her father, former Harrods' owner Mohamed Al Fayed, in tow. The Middleton-Al Fayed synergy means Issa could be poised for serious expansion, which makes the question of whether these perfectly nice, flattering dresses merit over 40 looks on a runway a moot point.
This season's theme tapped into Helayel's native Rio de Janeiro, which gave you pineapple and palm leaf prints on little suits and dresses—some in crisp woven cotton, new ground for the jersey girl. The motif also decked out swimwear and cover-ups, the former a necessity if you're celebrating the international bikini capital. What Pippa-ites, Camilla-ites (and any girl looking for a well-priced pretty dress) will clamor to buy: those frocks in white eyelet and black and metallic lace.