Style Fashion

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Orla Kiely takes a memo from the 1950s for London show

Bairbre Power, Fashion Editor

Published 18/02/2013 | 11:29

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The midnight blue two piece boucle tailored suit was divine, very grown up and very Kate Middleton.
The show was curated beautifully by Orla and her husband Dermott Rowan

The Irish designer was inspired by the world of the 1950s typing pool for her catwalk show

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Orla Kiely never does a formal catwalk presentation at London Fashion Week, always preferring to go the more creative route with a presentation, an installation and a film, where possible.


Last year, she did a vintage tea dance and before that, a pop up movie booth with popcorn. This season, she created a set for us where  we literally stepped into  the world of the 1950s typing pool, a concept inspired by her love of the movie The Best of Everything starring Joan Crawford.


It was curated beautifully and Orla and her husband Dermott Rowan sought out the correct desks, manual type writers, telephones, desk lamps, filing cabinets, right down to the music of the period and the long forgotten sound of a clacking typewriter and the high pitched ping of the carriage return.


And then came the clothes - dainty dresses, beautifully tailored suits, strong feature handbags, and patent shoes. We watched as the fashion tale unfolded, models  arriving to work, taking off their coats, stepping to their desks and beginning to type. And with each journey to the filing cabinet, we spotted more details about their outfits. The midnight blue two piece boucle tailored suit was divine, very grown up and very Kate Middleton, but more of that anon.


The patent shoes in every hue, the great, rigid frame handbags worn with an olive cardi over a raised flower print dress in tea rose. For a punch of colour, a rich vermilion drindle skirt worn with a cute cardi with intarsia -knit squirrel.


The  climbing daisy print in an old gold velvet (the designer calls it parchment) looks sensational in a tailored two piece suit with a camel polo and black footwear. What's not to love about the tall bag in the same print which resembles 70s flocked wallpaper.The handbag is a real pointer to just how much Orla Kiely bags have evolved over the years.


Orla's husband and business manager, Dermott Rowan, politely declines to discuss the whole Kate Middleton factor and its impact on the company which the couple own 100pc.  The Duchess of Cambridge regularly wears Orla's clothes, as does her sister Pippa, and it triggers immediate sell outs online.


If tight lipped about the royals, Dermott was happy to chip in that actress Zooey Deschanel is wearing Orla Kiely in the big American show, Girls on the HBO. Next  month the couple who were both born in Dublin , open a home wares shop in LA, a 'store with a store' at H. D. Buttercup.


The movie The Best of Everything was based on a novel by Rona Jaffe and text  was projected onto the back wall of the typing pool. 

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