Set on a catwalk which was made to look like an old oak library, classic books smothering every wall and chunky book cases setting the scene, the queen of prints and vintage silhouettes, Orla Kiely, transported us back in time to the 60s as she presented another feminine, retrospective collection; very much made for the modern, ambitious, young woman.
Made for the 20-year-old 60s spirit, the girl who is fashionable, smart, free thinking and revolutionary – a girl who knows what she wants – envisage her walking down the catwalk.
She is preppy and wears pussy bow blouses with knee-length pinafores in dark tones and subtle geometric patterns, contrasting with windowpane monochrome fabric on others. She draws in her boyish waist with a thin belt merging together the two periods of the 50s and 60s.
Some of the garments were almost reminiscent of the new look days of Dior with ladylike black cocktail midi dresses with 50s angular necklines and circle skirts.
Although much of the collection was rather sophisticated with muted monochrome, camel tones and pastels, there were pops of yellow and orange which gave a fun and youthful twist to the AW collection.
50s two-pieces were a big part of the collection in daffodil yellow tones and brushed fabrics. Worker style skirt suits in darker tones gave a secretarial look, somewhat reminiscent of the sophisticated 1950’s typist. Skirt suits were clashed with ice cream coloured, Quadrophenia style, thin polo necks, which were topped off with staunch patent leather brogues.
Among an array of frilled Peter Pan collars, pretty girlish tea dresses and flowing skirts, with practical pocket detail for the modern woman, there were also masculine elements with oversized granddad cardigans with mismatching pockets, trims and oversized bumble bee striped jumpers.
The naturally fresh-faced models carried small, box-shaped retro satchels, which swung from the shoulders of the models playfully. Some girls clutched giant carryalls in black and white geometric and square patterns. The hair was worn in an almost school girlish manner with the mid-parted hair swinging in neat, thick singular plaits.
Warmth was key in this autumn/winter collection; with thick grey tights, the type you used to wear in primary school in the deep mid- winter and chunky, sturdy T-bar shoes worn to add a further touch of vintage glamour to the already kitsch looks.