Orla Kiely and the Monarchy of Prints

by Samantha Mitten

Orla Kiely does everything. She started off as a hat designer, moved on to kitchenware, handbags, and clothes. She is often considered the queen of prints and having her face on a postage stamp in Ireland only adds to the aura of invincibility and class, Orla's work exudes. 

This pre-fall collection is a testament to Orla's strengths. While it is nowhere near as legendary as her kitchenware, her fashion work remains of high caliber with a hint of whimsy. The prints are there to gush over, the silhouettes are there to ponder, but ultimately what makes this collection worth buying into both literally and figuratively is Orla's ability to craft fashionable, functional wear out which is playful and ingenious at its core. Yet that playfulness is subtle in the form of long skirts and dresses that are foundationally old-school but bears the hyper-modern aesthetics of Orla's prints.