Upon entering the Isabel Manns’ Underwater Eden collection launch at her shop in Marylebone, I was greeted by an eye-catching display of jewel toned dresses and admiring guests. These gorgeous dresses, however, serve as an important contrast to most London Fashion Week collections. While shopping nowadays is often mired by feelings of guilt regarding overconsumption and unethical labor practices, Isabel Manns’ beautiful designs offer a reprieve from such concerns. Isabel Manns’ Underwater Eden collection highlights not only incredible fashion, but a commitment to sustainability, community, and thoughtful design.
With sustainability standing at the brand’s core, Isabel Manns prioritizes a waste free manufacturing process by eliminating fabric waste through intentional design. Moreover, she operates a closed loop production process by reusing leftover fabric scraps for colorful headbands, scarves, and masks. All production takes place domestically, much of it in London, ensuring ethical labor practices and reducing the brand‘s carbon footprint. Perhaps most exciting, Isabel Manns’ pieces are uniquely reversible, providing two outfits in one. Reversibility promotes sustainability by increasing the lifespan of an item, as well as reducing the need to buy more clothing. Finally, the total sales of masks and 10 percent of accessories are donated to Maggie’s charity, which offers cancer support.
Interestingly, Isabel Manns’ designs do not adhere to the traditional fashion calendar by association with specific seasons. Rather, collections showcase pieces that remain wearable throughout all seasons and complement the previous designs, tackling the rampant overconsumption within the fashion industry. Each item within the Underwater Eden collection evoked natural imagery through their vibrant patterns, rich colors, and fluidity. Isabel Manns’ clothing is characterized by thoughtful details demonstrating how each piece has been carefully crafted with women in mind, offering wearability and functionality without sacrificing style. Her collections are shaped by input from the customers and community, which manifests itself in a perfectly cut sleeve, for example. The collection’s appeal was apparent in the guests' excitement over a well curated array of items ranging from simple silk slips to velvet palazzo pants. Furthermore, Isabel Manns’ clothing is accessible across all ages. Highlights of the collection included the reversible Amanda Jacket, reversible Alice Silk Satin Dress, and the reversible Patricia Dress. While these pieces all displayed beautiful details and moved well, as demonstrated by the models, each also contributes to countless outfit combinations through their ingenious reversibility.
Ultimately, the Underwater Eden collection served as an exciting complement to Isabel Manns’ prior seasonless collections through its offer of classic styles in mesmerizing new prints, while maintaining a sustainable and ethical business model. Isabel Manns’ pieces are fun yet classic, with a twist, and constitute a timeless investment that you can feel proud to both wear and purchase.
Edited by Bo Nguyen, Fashion Editor