Sunday 6 October 2013

LFW SS14: Orla Kiely

As you're all very well aware it was London Fashion Week last month and for the first time in about 4 seasons I was unable to attend due to a busy schedule. However, not being one to miss out on the action I sent my friend Deborah (a buyer at Debenhams) along to check out some of the shows for me. She's kindly offered to blog on my behalf so here's her first blog takeover, enjoy!

Since the moment I received my first copy of a slick, glossy Vogue, I, like so many others, fell under the enchanted spell that is the World of Fashion. Thus began my dream of one day attending the Holy Grail that is London Fashion Week. And now, thanks to my rather new and awesome blogger friend Hannah, this Autumn that dream finally came true!

So first thing first as we Fashion Lovers know, the outfit you decide upon for such an occasion is top priority and must meet the following criteria:

1. Be comfortable and versatile enough to endure all the waiting around and rushing from show to show; 2. Be transitional, reflecting new season trends but also remaining in keeping with the current trends; and 3. Include a mixture of high street and charity shop items and, in my case, treasures acquired from the Battersea Car Boot Sale (definitely check this place out if you haven't already, can't believe I'm giving away my secret!).

So, my wardrobe, my housemates' wardrobes and the piles of clothes set aside for the charity shop were raided, and an outfit was born.

Hot pink is tipped to be 'the colour' for winter (at last a colour palette of not simply grey and brown tones!), so I settled on this nifty number from H&M. The shape of the dress is very office wear and reminiscent of a VB dress, but the hot pink tones down the seriousness somewhat - this number would certainly spice up the boardroom! I teamed the dress with my ever reliable floral brocade trophy jacket (part of a two piece skirt suit picked up at the aforementioned boot sale for a bargainous £7!). To rough the look up a tad I added my chain necklace and my always in style ever faithful buckle ankle boots on bare legs, we thank you Alexa!

With me I took Nadia, my fellow fashion loving friend. She also works in buying and much like me loves a show, a champers and a fun time. Nadia as always looked effortlessly stylish, wearing her recently purchased Uniqlo chambray shirt dress with a Preen for Debenhams contrast wool biker coat and her signature tartan red scarf, which I always think works wonderfully with her cute blond bob. She has Ukrainian roots you know!

We headed to the Orla Kiely presentation where we were greeted by a super stylish albeit slightly soggy queue of fashion lovers. Of course, the outfits were a joy to behold. A particular favourite of mine was a look consisting of a transparent plastic mac with a prom skirt seen just underneath, giving the mac amazing volume?, topped off with a gothic inspired black fascinator - oh darling!

The Orla kiely set up was truly magical and I simply loved the theatrical element of it. This is one of the main reason for my love of fashion, it is an art and whilst it doesn't nesscercarily need to make sense it simply needs to provoke reactions and inspire people. Ever since Meryl Streep starred in Out of Africa, designers have been using safari elements in their spring/summer collections and the Orla Kiley show was no different. Her set transported us from an autumnal September afternoon to a hot midsummer's day on an African plane. The room was decked out with animal figurines, including a huge rhino and a zebra and, whilst the adults among us sipped champagne, the little ones were offered Um Bongo. Such a cute extra touch!

The catwalk commenced with the models dressed in what I would describe as sixties safari chic. The colour theme was pastel tones of pinks and oranges with bursts of crisp white. The garments were held together with shiny round statement metal buttons and accessorised with pale pastel pink wool berets and long white socks with sandals from Orla's new Clarks collaboration range.

I had a few favourites, but the piece that stood out for me was a super cute 60's boxed shaped two piece shorts and short sleeved jacket combo, set in a crisp summery white. It had an air of classic Chanel about it and, teamed with a golden tan, a micro lioness head shaped leather shoulder bag and of course socks and sandals would be a perfect summer outfit.

I'm a sucker for a white dress in the summer and thus another one of my favourite pieces had to be the stunning broderie anglaise number. The poofed out skirt shape was flirty and fun and the embroidery on the top half added a touch of designer quality. For a casual summer's day I would team this with a pair of black wayfarers and some Clarks original flat leather sandals, finishing with a simple gold chain bracelet.

Don't get me wrong I may have raved about the white but the coloured pieces were equally exciting. I'm a lover of anything a bit out there, and the two piece giraffe printed orange shorts suit (yes another short suit!) did not disappoint. The suit was teamed with a crisp white buttoned up shirt (a garment every female should have in their wardrobe), more Orla Clarks sandals and, if you thought the lioness bag was cute then check out the white panda shaped shoulder bag. Adorable!

Whilst we're on the subject of accessories, I must mention what Orla is renowned for - her signature printed handbags. This season she's added an African twist to them, with gorgeous animal shaped shoulder bags and appliqué animal detailing, to plain leather styles. The Orla Kiely x Clarks collaboration is going to be a big hit I can tell, who could go wrong with Clarks quality and comfort teamed with Orla's beautiful designs? I for one will be purchasing come SS14!

The models strutted to the sound of 'The Clapping Song', adding an edgy urban vibe to the African theme. The catwalk ended with the models positioned in an African safari film set, some with positioned painting and others posing with binoculars. Overall it felt like an upper class British 60's African adventure holiday and I adored it.

Nadia and I very much enjoyed Orla's afternoon presentation and were also lucky enough to spy Orla herself. We of course couldn't say no to a complimentary glass of bubbles and also helped ourselves to a copy of the daily London Fashion Week paper, bringing reports straight from the catwalk of the previous day's show.

I hope you enjoyed the blog take over, giving Hannah a well-deserved break and I look forward to bringing you all the next instalment of our day.

Did you see the Oral Kiely presentation, what did you think x
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