Friday, September 2, 2011

Orla Kiely

So you may have taken notice that my blog address is iLoveOrlaKiely. Orla Kiely is a clothing and accessories designer based in London. I first discovered her designs when I was in New York with my friend Valerie. We were visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art, and then stopped by the gift shop afterward. Orla Kiely had a display of handbags and wallets, and I was immediately drawn to them. I absolutely love her fun and quirky designs, and her use of color. Something about the stem print (seen here in the background) makes me feel so happy. While I do love all of her designs and prints, my absolute favorite is her teal flower blossom print. When I lived with my brother, Andrew, I had the breakfast nook wallpapered with the design, and I enjoyed every single time I sat at the dining table to eat my meals. I’m hoping to some day purchase the matching bed sheets, but they are quite pricey (the king duvet is 90 pounds, equivalent to approximately $146, AND it’s only available for purchase from the UK website). My mother-in-law said she found some Orla Kiely bed sheets in the classic stem print online and was considering buying them for me but wasn’t sure if they were “too much” meaning, would they be overkill to have that much Orla Kiely. I told her there was no such thing as too much Orla Kiely! One day I will have an entire room dedicated to her designs – decorated from floor to ceiling with anything I can find. It will become my “happy place.”

Thanks to my husband, I do own a (very small) collection of Orla Kiely items. My husband bought me a shoulder bag in the “scribble stem classic” print for Christmas one year. Thanks, love!

We also visited London, where the flagship store is located, and purchased the “small stem print iris bag.”

While there, I also purchased a file folder, AND they gave me the cutest sample bottle of perfume (I have yet to try even a single spritz. I have this weird thing about always wanting to keep things in mint condition).

A couple years ago, Orla Kiely also collaborated with Target. I honestly cannot think of a time I was more excited (is that sad?) I mean, Orla Kiely designs for Target prices?! I purchased a floor mat, towel hooks, a two-tier stand, a couple storage bins for DVDs/CDs, and canisters in which I store my sugar, flour, and rice.

I have also found the occasional notebook or journal at my local T.J. Maxx. They were so cheap, at only $2-3 each (as opposed to $20+) so of course I snatched them all up, even though I’m not sure what to write in them yet…I think this is another result of me wanting to keep everything in mint condition.

But probably the best Orla Kiely purchase I ever made was a top I found on eBay and I was the only bidder at $0.99! It’s a very cute striped top with the signature stem print – I love it! It’s always my go-to top when I need something comfy and simple, yet fun and bright.

And lastly, for Christmas one year, my brother got me Orla Kiely’s “Pattern.” It’s a book about her start in the fashion industry, early family life, and her inspiration. There are pages of images from her earliest designs to her most recent collections, which is always fun to flip through.

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