A life in pattern: Orla Kiely’s biography
Creator of some of the most recognisable prints in contemporary fashion, Orla Kiely launched her label in 1995 as a means of channelling her love for print, rhythm and colour. Famed for her repetitive prints and silhouettes, Kiely was inspired by a childhood spent growing up in Ireland during the 1960s and 70s. The hues of green, orange and yellow so recognisable in her ‘Stem’ design series are evidently informed by this, and the era has consistently inspired collections since. As a fashion designer, her work has been characterised by these repetitive patterns – often flowers or fruit. These prints have also been translated into recognisable design logos, printed across everything from furniture to kitchen appliances and stationary: it is for this later expansion that she is perhaps most known for now, but her work in fashion continues to evolve with thoughtful and precise execution.
Orla Kiely exhibition at Fashion and Textile Museum
This new exhibition at Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey offers fresh insight into the Irish designer. Orla Kiely has enjoyed enormous success, but this often comes at the behest of the nuances of her art. The show in 2018 aims to celebrate the designer with the gravitas she deserves. Featuring over 150 exhibits, audiences will be able to see firsthand the original trademark ‘Stem’ graphic, created in the 1990s, as well as gain an insight into the objects and individuals who have creatively inspired her over the years.
The exhibition continues the Fashion and Textile Museum’s long history of offering fresh perspectives on creative figures in fashion; Anna Sui is currently under the spotlight, with a show that celebrates the full scope of her career from the 1970s onwards. If you’re looking for a place to catch great fashion exhibitions in London, this is the spot for you.
Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern will be at Fashion and Textile Museum, May 25 – September 23, 2018.