Orla Kiely's Dreamy Retro Autumn Dressing
Sorry to be AWOL, we moved Wednesday and didn't have a connection until today. Thank you all for checking in, sorry for no fresh posts! I suffered a bit of withdrawal yesterday!
I first heard of Orla Kiely at the Tate Modern gift shop in London about four years ago when I moved to England. Her neatly stacked, colourful stem print notebooks and totes caught my attention. Simple and clean graphics with a distinct retro feel. Everybody likes that, don't they? I considered buying a notebook but I've bought so many pretty ones over the years and I write in them once or twice and then forget about them. I don't know what's wrong with me.
While her popular signature print bags and accessories are happy and fun, it's the fashion collections that this Royal College of Art grad conjures up season after season (since 1999) that have me hooked. Ignoring the trends in favour of taking direction from her graphic design she produces dresses, outerwear, skirts, tops and knitwear - no pants! I love it! - that display her affinity for the sweet femininity of 60s styling, which stay fresh thanks to the evolution of her striking original prints. And I'm nuts about them. They're like Mia Farrow's wardrobe in Rosemary's Baby, updated. I think that's a really, really, good thing.
And while I usually dread the typical 'oh, it's autumn, so everything must be earthy browns, oranges and mossy greens' that we inevitably see year after predictable year on the high street, Orla Kiely makes the harvest palette more than okay. She's got her own thing going on, and it's about much more than colour alone.
Here are my favourite pieces from the current A/W collection. The capes, the little faux-fur collared jacket and the knit dresses with the clover print skirts need to find a home in my wardrobe. And that clover print cardie...oh dammit just give me all of them!