Designer Inspiration: Orla Kiely

Do you ever look to designers for your sewing/ making inspiration? I do a little bit, mainly through Pinterest, which I love. As any of you that like the 60s, as I do, I’m sure you love Orla Kiely. I like her 60s colour palettes and the shapes on her designs. I feel like some of the stuff was everywhere for a while, but I like her clothing designs, so I thought I’d share some here for your sartorial inspiration.

I love the dresses particularly. This bird fabric is soooo cute and I like the plain white sleeves and yoke. I’ve been really drawn to tops and dresses with contrast sleeves and yoke/ neckline, especially with raglan sleeves. I reckon this would be totally re-creatable. Maybe with Colette’s Moneta pattern, which I just so happen to already have in my stash!

Orla Kiely Bluebird & Blackbird T-Shirt Dress blueI like the simple shape of this one, and the piping/ binding makes it a bit more interesting than it otherwise would be. The print has tiny hearts all over it too, which is sweet.Orla Kiely Busy Bee Print Organza Stripe Dress sky I like plain styles of dress, made with interesting fabric, so I love the below dress (which also comes in blue, but pretty much this whole page would have been blue, so I saved the red version instead!). This is the same hearty fabric as above, but in red (obvs). I reckon Christine Haynes’ Emery Dress could recreate this dress. Orla Kiely Busy Bee Print Side Pleat Dress poppy

This shirt dress style dress is pretty cute too, and the fabric has tiny shoes all over it! I like the collar, and the waist band has gathers on the bodice as well as the skirt, so it would have a cinched in waist even without a belt.

Orla Kiely Resort Collection Ditsy Shoe Pleated Dress slateThis navy dress with the cut-out neckline is really lovely. I like that this one has pockets too!ย  Orla Kiely Flower Spot Jacquard Heart Cut Out Dress midnightThis blue dress might be my favourite. Plus it comes in yellow! I think the Emery could be a good base for this dress, too. If I sized up, to give it the loose fitting style and didn’t gather/pleat the skirt across the front and added little cuffs to the sleeves, I think I’d have a pretty good version of this.ย  Orla Kiely Slub Silk Tunic skyThis skirt is the same hearty fabric as in the dresses above, and is it me, or does this look a lot like Tilly’s new pattern, The Arielle Skirt? Orla Kiely Busy Bee Print Skirt sky

This is a pretty basic pencil skirt, and there must be a million pencil skirt patterns, but I really like the fabric. I’m planning a pink pencil skirt myself, though not in this baby pink kind of shade, more of a brighter, obnoxious pink! Orla Kiely Flower Spot Jacquard Skirt coral

This t shirt is right up my alley – contrast sleeves and neck binding. I’m not totally sold on the fabric, but it’s quite sweet. Orla Kiely Daisy Gingham Top pebble

I like this little jumper too, the collar is sweet and it’s pretty much smack in the middle of the colours I wear all the time! I’m never totally sold on short-sleeved jumpers, though. Does anyone else ever think if it’s warm enough to have bare arms, then you’re going to get hot in a jumper? Anyone?Orla Kiely Flower Jacquard Top navy How amazing is this sweatshirt? I don’t think it’s one I would copy as I wouldn’t do it this well, but I like the idea of a kind of plain top with some amazing decoration on. Maybe I’ll have a go at some applique on my clothes. Orla Kiely Resort Collection Sixties Lady Intarsia Sweater grey and navyI’m also a sucker for a good mug. I would have loads of them if I had the space……wait, I do have loads. I would have even more! Also, I’m getting to the age where I want nice kitchen wear and not just the stuff I can afford. Maybe I’ll save up for some Orla Kiely crockery?Orla Kiely Henny Hen mug mustardOrla Kiely 60s Stem Mug blueOrla Kiely Acorn Cup yellowWould you ever copy a designer/ ready to wear garment? I always think I will, but I haven’t yet. Maybe one day, when I’ve sewn ALL the things on my list!

All pictures are from the Orla Kiely website.

6 Replies to “Designer Inspiration: Orla Kiely”

  1. Lovely roundup! I’m always looking to RTW and designer for inspiration and squirreling it on Pinterest too. The pale blue one looks like the Papercut Sigma with those skirt gathers.

    Like

    1. I’m exactly the same – the more I look at new pattern designers/ new releases and fashion designers, the more I think I will never get on top of my ‘to make’ list. But as you say, it might be a good thing – it keeps me excited about making new things!

      Like

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