Orla Kiely – Pre Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear
Orla Kiely hired Leith Clark to style her namesake collection many seasons ago, but Resort 2016 marks the first time that the designer and creative consultant have given their collaboration a name.
At a breakfast presentation on the rooftop of Manhattan’s NoMad Hotel, Kiely and Clark showed L’Orla, the duo’s interpretation of the early-’70s nostalgia currently sweeping fashion. Sarah Moon, Stephanie Farrow, and Biba were all names Kiely threw out, and their influence could be found in the details. Bib-collar necklines, ruffled trimming, and tiered baby-doll silhouettes ruled, often rendered in a geometric daisy print and paired with sturdy T-strap Mary Janes.
You could really see Clark’s personality in the not-too-sweet palette of pink, yellow, and black, which cast an ethereal light on Kiely’s Pop Art point of view. (“I love the tonality,” said the designer.) The two also made lots of peasant-y pieces in solid black and dressed up the models in bonnets, which were somewhat inspired—of all things—by the Amish. “There’s something sophisticated about that way of dressing,” Clark pointed out. And to be sure, these looks never veered too far in the direction of kiddie-land. With this collection, Kiely and Clark proved that you can dress like a baby doll without looking like an overgrown child.