Saturday, 18 September 2010

LFW SS11 Diary: Orla Kiely

The queen of kitsch print (who’s nearest rival - if of course we had to pin one down - would be Cath Kidston), wowed once again with an eye-catching presentation in the Portico Rooms of Somerset House on the inaugural day of LFW SS11.
Last season we saw models premiering the AW10 collection delicately rotating around the very same space; however this year Orla Kiely enlisted the help of several oversized cardboard cut-outs to create something slightly edgy, unexpected – and I’m guessing, a little more cost effective.
A great icon of design it’s hard to believe that in just ten short years Kiely has become a huge household name producing fashion and accessories in addition to homeware and perfumes for her eponymous brand.

With a beautiful collection of tea dresses and shifts in beautiful florals and iconic 60’s cut outs and shapes, this collection is one of Kiely’s strongest yet, affording her customers the chance to really step into her world – hinting at twin sets and demure cover-ups, typical of the era she has transported back into the populous. With a hardback book entitled Pattern out next month, this season you can find out all you need to know about Kiely’s empire (from prints to techniques), and better yet, what inspires this Irish maverick.
As with any Great British legend, they receive numerous offers to cross collaborate in the form of branding products in other fields. Following this trend, the obligatory collaboration with a car manufacturer has come to the fore, so as Sir Paul Smith lent his signature stripes to Mini, Kiely has lent her iconic 60’s inspired logo to Citroën’s DS3.
To keep visitors entertained there was a mini cinema booth placed in the centre of the presentation space, complete with plush velvet curtains and eight standard cinema seats, and two pin-up styled stewards daintily handing out popcorn. The short film, From London With Love by Gia Coppola, was played on a loop depicting models in what appeared to be an informed nod to swinging sixties London – perfectly encapsulating the unique aesthetic for which Kiely is now renowned.


  1. orla kiely is irish not british!

  2. Sorry, you're right. That's an oversight on my part. As an Irish person myself I should be more accurate. Thanks!