Most people when they visit New York probably have a ‘must see/ do’ list that includes icons such as Central Park, the Empire State building or the Statue of Liberty. My list however, whilst still including the utter *essentials* of New York site seeing (Grand Central – tick, Gossip Girl tour – tick, sitting on the steps of the Met giving my best Blair Waldorf face – MASSIVE TICK) also had, fairly high up too I might add, a trip to Orla Kiely’s NYC shop. Now I know what you’re thinking, why treck half way around the world just to visit the shop of a brand you could pop to in London?! Whilst in theory this is true, my visits to London over the last few years have been sporadic and so jam packed that by the time I’ve seen all my friends for a catch up, there’s barely time left to marvel at the wonder that is the Waitrose cheese room (trust me, it’s amazing) let alone cram some retail therapy in too which is why I was stupidly excited about *finally* getting the chance to visit Mercer Street and dive headlong into Orla’s world.
I have to admit that up until a few years ago, I was only aware of Orla Kiely as the designer who put 60s style stem prints on a vast selection of homewares and didn’t have a clue that she also designed clothes too. At some point during the cold days of February 2013 however, whilst hitting up Google to keep updated with all things London Fashion Week, I stumbled across a couple of blogs carrying photos from her AW13 presentation (beautifully styled by the amazing Leith Clark) and fell hopelessly in love.
It’s probably no surprise that my love for Orla Kiely started around the same time as discovering Wes Anderson’s films (again, *very* late to that party) as both artists share the ability to create entire worlds around their ideas that are so appealing and considered it’s impossible not to be drawn in. Orla’s Fashion Week presentations (and supporting campaign films) are never merely just catwalks of clothes but instead feel more like snapshots of some wonderful retro dream that the viewer has stumbled upon. This sepia-tinged aesthetic extends to the New York shop where offerings from the AW14 collection sit alongside homewares in a faux-domestic setting that includes a kitchen, lounge area (complete with TV showing ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ – always a good thing in my book) and erm, caravan resplendent in Orla Kiely print.
After trying on a few bits and pieces from the current collection, I discovered a rail of sale items including a skirt from the AW13 collection I’d been lusting after and having purchased it, was brave enough to ask the very lovely sales assistant if I could take a few snaps of the shop interior to share on here (is it just me who gets slight sales assistant fear when I’m in shops that my budget wouldn’t normally stretch to?!?).
Thankfully my limited American budget meant that I couldn’t walk away with the whole shop (although I’m sure the little brushwood fox would look right at home in my flat…) but it was a lovely excuse to have a glimpse into Orla’s world and add one or two items to my every growing wishlist…
It’s no secret that I have a bit of a thing for the styling of Wez Anderson films and Moonrise Kingdom in particular. As the start of this week clung on to the last vestige of summer, I decided to channel my inner Suzy Bishop (minus binoculars) with this ensemble.
My dress is from Topshop and my shoes are from Dune. I bought both at the start of spring so they’re no longer available in store although Dune do have the same style of brogues in updated colour ways for A/W13 here which I’m quite tempted by for the party season. I liked the Topshop dress so much that I also bought it in a couple of other colours (if it ain’t broke… etc) and have spent a good chunk of the summer in them. My bag, which has featured on this blog before, is from The Cambridge Satchel Company and has pretty much been worn to death over the last few months! My necklace is from Tatty Devine and I love the trompe l’oeil effect of the digitally printed perspex jewels!
When it came to my nails I wanted to echo the jewel tones of the necklace so I loaded up my nail tips with a few coats of Barry M glitter polishes in Aqua, Yellow Topaz and Rose Quartz and then added a top coat. Pretty pleased with the result!
Now, whether or not I should be using a 12 year old fictional character as a style icon when I’m nearly 30 is a whole other debate but seeing as Orla Kiely also seems to be firmly on the Suzy Bishop bandwagon if her S/S14 collection is anything to go by, I don’t think I’m quite willing to give her up just yet…
I do love a good statement necklace so when Sarah Angold’s collection for Freedom at Topshop launched a few weeks ago, I knew I had to add one of her Perspex lovelies to my wardrobe!
Whilst pieces from her mainline start at around £300, prices for the Topshop limited edition seven piece necklace and earrings collection are £30 – £60! Considering that all of the Freedom at Topshop pieces are still handmade by Sarah and her team in her workshop and come with their own identity number, I think paying a little bit more than perhaps you normally would for Topshop jewellery is justified as these have ‘investment pieces’ written all over them!
I love the nod to art deco which the collection has (and reminds me of the much lusted after Charlotte Olympia Pre Fall 13) and the way the iridescent perspex parts catch the light. The collection is exclusively available at Topshop’s Oxford Circus store as well as through their website and I’m currently online stalking the Line Necklace in the hope that it’ll one day end up in the sale as I’d really love to add another piece to my wardrobe!