Orla Kiely is pretty high up in my list of favorite designers. Her kitschy accessories, animal print dresses and vintage-inspired fits match up with my personal style perfectly, and I always await each new collection with total glee. What magic will she concoct this time? What delightful charming outfits will I be left to swoon over now?
Spring/Summer '14 only fueled my obsession. Models drifted through a quaint savannah scene, sitting down to read, paint, or examine maps along the way. Each sported a cute beret (the pink ones were my favourite) and white knee socks with sandals. The color scheme consisted heavily of cream, tan and navy, with blush, yellow and olive. The best part, of course, was the collection of twee details: tiny lions printed on dresses, a trench decorated with darling navy rhinoceroses, and leather crossbody purses shaped like various animal faces.
Of course some would find this sort of kitsch-heavy, fanciful fashion positively annoying, but I am all for anything and everything cutesy and sweet. Style.com writer Maya Singer summed it up perfectly when she said, “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.”
Anyway, the point is that I utterly loved this collection, but as I have to realize every new Orla season, none of her pieces are really within my current freelancer budget. Most seasons I simply feel sorry for myself for a while and then move on, but this year I found myself flipping through the looks again and again. Then it hit me: I totally had a few pieces that kind of sort of look like they belonged in Orla’s collection!
After a bit of studying and a thorough raid of my wardrobe, I came up with three girl-scout-goes-safari-esque outfits I reckoned even Orla herself would appreciate.
I donned my white knee-high socks with wedge sandals and a vintage beret, and arranged the outfits around that base. A good collared shirt was required, as well as a crossbody purse and a trench. I worked in a pair of olive loose shorts, and opted for a collared black dress because I don’t have a white one, but overall I think I did an all right job.
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