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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Orla Kiely's inspiration

Published 25/11/2013 | 14:46

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Irish designer Orla Kiely
Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton

Orla Kiely is inspired by the "midcentury".

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The Irish designer recently unveiled her third collaboration with Japanese retailer Uniqlo. She also has an iPhone and iPad accessory collection for Target.

When choosing her own ensembles Orla likes to keep things simple and wears pieces which she feels confident in.

Her designs include printed pencil skirts and collared dresses with belts.

"My inspiration has always been midcentury. I love the way the women dress in all the Kitchen Sink dramas, and films such as Rosemary's Baby and Barefoot in the Park," she told fashion.telegraph.co.uk.

"You feel so self-conscious if you wear something that's not you, it's the worst feeling. The prints I wear tend to be quite tonal - they can look like a solid until you see that they're a pattern close up. If I've got an important appointment I put on one of our dresses with a dash of red lipstick and off I go."

Orla has an array of famous fans, including Alexa Chung and Kirsten Dunst. While she is now considered a household name the fashionista worked hard to get where she is now. It was her husband Dermott Rowan who persuaded her to start her own label and she remembers how things took off so suddenly.

"[Dermott] believed in me much more than I did. I'm so supercritical but he really did think it could happen. It started as a tiny sideline. I didn't have any contacts or factories or printers," she recalled.

"My father had come to see our tiny stand at London Fashion Week and his observation was that everyone was carrying a bag but they weren't all wearing hats. We found a factory that was prepared to do a small run of the sweetest backpacks and body cross bags. We put [a stem print] on a cotton canvas bags and everybody loved it. Everybody loved them so I started taking the stem more seriously."

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