You might wonder how Orla Kiely can continue to reinvent nostalgia and retro elegance each season, but luckily there was nothing to worry about for AW13. An office themed presentation at Elms Lesters Painting Rooms kept us all guessing, some exclaiming 'definitely Moonrise Kingdom' (which I haven't even seen - shudder) and others thinking more of a Mad Men scenario. The models were the perfect actresses, playing along with the corporate setting by typing, chatting and filing before breaking into a customary catwalk strut. It must be one of the best presentations to take part in at London Fashion Week, gentle music, places to sit down and (hopefully) comfortable shoes. What's not to love?
There was a combination of strong influences this season, Margot Tenenbaum (the chubby coats are all making sense now), 70s flocked wallpaper and Irish artist Breon O'Casey. The pop of hot pink was unexpected and resulted in a few gasps from myself when the knitted dress came out, much to the amusement of the other photographers. Yes, this collection made me talk to myself a little bit. Although the shapes are recognisable, the fabrics have been given the perfect update with novel textures created by raised flowers, velvet jacquards and cosy shearling (my post from a few days ago was a bit of a premonition, it seems). As expected, Leith Clark was the stylist injecting a clever sense of whimsy into the proceedings, perfect for the girl who never wants to grow up and wears a pretty dress whilst doing so. The rather sensible shoes are from Kurt Geiger and I'm frantically searching the website as the style may even tempt me away from my typical chunky sole.
Which look is your favourite? I stayed for just over an hour even though the presentation was on a loop. There was just something rather enchanting about being immersed in this calm world rather than the festival-like nature of Somerset House. The collection has given me a few points of reference to investigate further before it comes in store later this year and I'm determined to save the pennies for some of the SS13 pieces. I think I may wear white tights tomorrow to channel a bit of this!
Check out an interview I found with Orla Kiely here; I saw her at the presentation but was too scared to say anything. I could kick myself!
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