Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear
October 09, 2013 London
Certain things in life, you're either really into or you're really not. Mayonnaise, for instance. Jack Kerouac. The Wes Anderson oeuvre, post-Royal Tenenbaums. Likewise, there are a lot of devotees of Orla Kiely's clothing, and at least as many people who find it mannered and unbearably twee. This season, riffing on the theme girl-guides-go-safari, Kiely isn't likely to win any converts. But this collection ought to please her fans. A shorts suit in a tonal orange giraffe print? Yes, please, the Kiely girl says. Ditto the sweet white dresses dotted with tiny embroidered rhinos, the A-line skirts with oversize flap pockets, and taut sweaters with friendly lion appliqués. There was a genuine wit to the zoological stuff here, but it served to exacerbate the atmosphere of extreme whimsy. That's either your thing or it's not, though it's worth noting that even a hardened anti-quirk cynic can take cuteness in small doses. And Kiely's mini animal-shaped cross-body bags were totes adorbs, for sure.