Daisy said: Just a little walk away from the main hub of London Fashion Week, Orla Kiely held a three hour presentation in the darling space of Elms Lester Gallery. Darling is the adjective of choice when describing this (darling) journey into Kiely (absolutely darling) fantastical world. So, just imagine I’m saying everything with darling in front of it.
L and I were escorted up a tiny wooden staircase into the show space. With the singing of cicadas and yelp of birds filling your ears, one was confronted by not only a zebra, but a huge rhinoceros! Absolutely darling (sorry, couldn’t resist). Tall glasses of champagne had giraffe stirrers or wee perching monkeys in them, which were not only twee but also it just little harder to neck our champers. A blessing in disguise, perhaps.
To add the adorable overload there were loads of children at the event; for them, cartons of Umbongo were provided! The tropical juice drink with overtones of colonial racism (Peep Show). I was so busy pulling faces at a chuckling cherub I missed the first look. Although I, personally, would no work the Kiely look, it was the epitome of wearable. Kitsch to the right degree the feminine curve and frills were given a trendy edge with the presence of Safari-style pockets and buttons, along with clompy sandals (really cool sandals) and animal-faced , box messenger bags.
Pretty models, binoculars and the like stooped out of a small wooden door in Alice in Wonderland fashion and trooped round to the Safari display where they sat painting, chatting and smiling as bloggers such as Bip Ling and Susie Bubble tweeted ferociously.
Orla successfully created an atmosphere of nativity and friendliness in her Safari wonderland. Absolutely darling!
Orla Kiely’s show will be without a doubt the most adorable of the week. We climbed up a narrow, winding staircase into Orla’s magical vision. Her Spring/Summer 2014 collection combined adorable feminine vintage with Victorian safari. A life-sized rhino looms from the far corner, vintage maps of the world are plastered across the walls, exotic sounds fill our ears and transport us from the lofty, cramped attic into the vast African planes, champagne glasses are thoughtfully decorated with tiny plastic giraffes. It seems Orla has considered every last detail.
A playful atmosphere has everyone excitedly anticipating what she has in store – no signs of the collection yet, however. It was like a game, trying to guess how the clothes would match the illusion surrounding us. Suddenly and quite informally, a model gracefully steps out of a tiny wooden door; like Alice clambering into wonderland. She stoops upwards and the audience sigh in admiration. Sporting a beret and schoolgirl socks pulled above her knees, teamed with bright red, patent sandals, she settles herself in a safari scene in the far side of the room and curiously gazes through giant magnifying glasses and jars of insects. One by one, others join her.
The clothes were classically Orla – vintage, feminine and flattering. Zebra print adorned many of the clothes and the bags were decorated with embroidered rhinos. My favourite items of the collection included the panda and fox-head chain bags, the nude sandals and the running theme of delicate silk and cotton pieces. In a world of fashion where androgyny is growing to dominate women’s fashion, Orla reminds us that prettiness still exists, and that one can wear a beret at any occasion…