Initially I got stuck in the lift with a delivery man, and then a very tanned lady. Apparently you are not supposed to use the lift at London Fashion Week. I don’t normally use the lift (thighs), but to be honest, I was unsure as to how to get to the Portico Rooms, where Orla Kiely was showing her short films, and there was an arrow towards the lift. Anyway, tanned lady assisted me in getting in and consequently missed her lift and was forced to take the stairs. She was lovely. I entered the little room to find three sheds, twig trees, pretty stools, lots of stuffed birds (real?) and strange bird/nature music, wafting.
I wish I could say that I wafted around the room, and I tried to put be exhibition faced, but I had to move around people, twigs in my hair and face and then birds – just there. *SQUAWK* Perhaps now would be the time to say I am scared of birds.
A dyed, dark haired boy with a strong side parting came up to me, straight backed and carrying a tray of champagne. Luckily for him the tray had little grooves so the stems came out the bottom to avoid spillage. Sadly for me, I couldn’t see how to access le bubbly. “How do I… ah, thanks”. I clutched my champagne at its stem. Although I saw most people holding their glasses around the fatter bit. I was told this was wrong to do by a man at a ‘ra’ party when I was 15. I also thought this was wrong/bad etiquette/heats liquid with hand warmth? But it does look better, holding champs at the fatter bit…rearrange hand. I smiled at a lady who had a few people round her and was smiling in my direction. She saw me though, and it vanished. Denied! I later heard her say she was the Editor of a Homes magazine and she got her photo taken amongst the twig trees. My time at BBC Homes and Antiques, as an intern, came rushing back to me.
I meandered about. LOVED the girls in Orla Kiely outfits, plastered to the walls. Although Orla Kiely heavily reminds me of women in Clifton (affluent part of Bristol), and Bath, sauntering about, I think her designs look excellent on younger women. With 60s influences, and pretty detailing, they’re perfect and easy to wear creations, that are FAR from some of preconceived ideas. Most of the aforementioned women only ever really wear the bags, to be fair. And to see the full outfits, with the pretty shoes, natural colours and high hemlines, I was in lust with Orla! Less the birds.
I had a little chat with the champagne boy, as I had no chance of speaking to Ms Editor, she wouldn’t appreciate one of my own designed business cards (they’re amazing). He said the films had been on rotation since 7am, which is fiiiine, but the soundtrack (i.e. birds), was a tad repetitive. We discussed our day. He asked if I was in ‘the business’. I replied: “Mmmm, writer.” I felt bad for not asking him if he was in the business, but as I sat on an Orla bench, decided that he was a poet who had escaped Burnley.
I saw that the films were being shown in the sheds. I considered leaning on the side of the shed, as no one seemed to be sitting inside them. But instead decided to sit inside, on a stool, in the shed. It felt like one of those watch places you find on walks. Then: ARG!! A MASSIVE stuffed OWL was looking straight at me. Out the shed.
The video was purposefully flickery and sweet, with the models in greens and creams, wandering about their vintage filled houses. I won’t lie; I wanted the house/clothes dearly. They looked so contented, slightly robotic, but perfect.
Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, photography by Amelia Gregory
It seems that lighter, floatier fabrics took hold for Orla Kiely’s S/S 2011 collection, as Orla said: For ready-to-wear, there is silk organza mesh partywear; sheer fabrics have played a large part in the collection. Some prints also have abstract references to apples and pears. Within bags and accessories, I have designed leather backpacks and my debut sunglasses range.” But, heavier fabrics have returned for A/W, with beautiful, thick coats, short, wool dresses and A Line skirts, knitted skirt suits and 70s influenced belted loose jersey dresses and bell sleeves. All worn with black socks and ankle strapped shoes. Thick knit long cardigans or 60s trenches also feature, whilst the make up is subtle, allowing the deep teals, greens and light browns to take the focus. And of course promoting the simple, pretty, easy to wear, natural style of Orla Kiely.
I was transfixed by the video for a little while – the music was quite liable to do this – and then, although tempted to sit and drink more champagne on a pretty stool, I wandered off out the correct door.
60s, 70s, Avril Kelly, BBC Homes and Antiques, Benches, birds, Champagne, Helen Martin, Irish, Joanna Faria, lfw, LFW A/W 2011, LFW Presentation, lift, Matilde Sazio, Orla Kiely, Portico Rooms, Presentation, Pretty, Sheds, Stools, twigs, video
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