The sound of a bustling office, old phones and typewriter keys clacking accompanied the soundtrack to Orla Kiely’s presentation of her Autumn/Winter 2013 collection. Stepping into the presentation space housed in the Elms Lesters Gallery was like jumping into a time machine and going back 50 years into a playful dreamlike world. Instead of the usual catwalk, the Irish-born designer went ahead and put 1970’s style secretaries, which were muse for her latest collection, into their natural environment: the office. Kiely found her main points of inspiration in Margot Tenenbaum, in the 70’s flocked wallpaper and the irish artist Breon O’Casey, the setting was tailored to fit her vision perfectly.
The retro look designs were perfectly complemented by white stockings, T-bar heels, cute purses and lovely hair styles. The colour palette ranged from candy pink over ochre to bright reds, navy and earthy camels. Tweed boucle suits and dreamy party dress were well-tailored and shaped with wide round collars and angora sweaters tucked into high waisted skirts and shorts gave the collection a very romantic and retro feel. Highlight of the collection was the climbing daisy velvet jacquard. Statement knits with woodland creatures offset the clean lines of 70’s shifts, all topped with thick faux fur coats. Jumpers, cardigans, dresses; Orla Kiely did it all. It’s a collection with a high cute-factor and incredibly wearable pieces.