Actor and celebrity makeup artist Issa Pressman made her debut on the runway with her label’s Time & Space Collection, an homage to body positivity and authenticity.
Earthy, artful, and purposeful—designer Issa Pressman of ISSA proves that the neo-bohemian renaissance is here. With Vogue World injecting a modern boho aesthetic with sleek suedes and knit maxi dresses and brands like Etro, Chloé, Ulla Johnson, and Zimmermann putting their own spin on the trend category, it’s only natural that the Philippine fashion scene puts their own spin on the bohemian movement. With luxe bohemia as the core of ISSA’s recent presentation at BYS Fashion Week’s SKIN STAGE, Pressman’s interpretation comprised of fluid silhouettes with an emphasis on Old Hollywood glamour merged with an individualist spirit. With scarf-centric ensembles found in various forms and shapes (halter tops, handkerchief skirts, asymmetrical tops, and draped over blazers—you name it), the designer’s artistic sensibilities shone through.
Inspired by her experiences, every design was hand-drawn in four different cities that she visited within a month’s time. Reminiscing about how she conceptualized the collection at a crossroads in her life, Pressman recounts, “It was a big turn in my life. I wanted to change stuff up for myself: be more explorative [and] get more experiences.” Along with her friends, she ventured to London, Mykonos, Tel Aviv, and Korea where she honed in on her learnings and created designs to represent her memories and adventures.
Individuality and uniqueness underlined the capsule. In fact, the designer stayed true to a technique and concept she coined called, “line-ism.” She explains, “It’s just repeating lines again and again. One line is never the same, just like people. We’re never the same. We’re always going to be different in our own ways [and] we’re always going to be unique.” She applies this versatility throughout her collection with her silken scarf as the key element, adapted into different silhouettes. The young creative refers to a key phrase throughout the collection that embodies her brand—fixed form, versatile function.
When speaking about the future of ISSA, Pressman explains her need to keep going. She says, “I don’t plan everything. That’s what’s exciting. I want to keep going.” Though her next steps are uncertain, she continues, “I always put my whole heart into everything that I do. [With] anything that’s up next, [I] will definitely still have my heart in art.” Throughout her showcase, her penchant for artistic flair was evident from the dancers in fluid pieces to the music that soundtracked the collection.
The label’s performance ended with a bang with the designer’s sister and model Yassi Pressman closing the show in a black corset with a voluminous skivvies set that brought plenty of drama (thanks to an endless train) to the well-curated showcase. With the finale, the designer wanted to highlight her support for her sister’s accomplishments instead of conforming to the idea that one sibling should be in the shadow of the other. The designer says, “I wanted [Yassi] to be different from everyone else because my sister is different. People always compare me and my sister. I really wanted to prove that, ‘Hey, I have my own show and she’s the start of the show.’ I’ve got zero issues about that. We’re sisters.”
She further explains, “I think that’s the role of every woman. We really have to lift each other up.” By shedding light on the allure of the female form and the camaraderie between women, Pressman demonstrates how much intention and personality can really create a unique collection.