Born in Ireland and now based in London, for her spring/summer 2017 collection, Kiely travelled back to the late Sixties, focusing on the exact time when the more conventional Sixties motifs were changing and paving the way for the festival-ready Seventies-inspired patterns. In doing so, Orla Kiely tried to transmit every single aspect of the festival music circuit and movement of the late Sixties/early Seventies to her line-up, heading to California and blending in the mix a few vintage country-chic inspirations too.
Her goal? Providing us with “a more modern and simplified interpretation of the look, but still capturing the freedom and spirit of the era.” To better embody this spirit, Orla Kiely meandered around Woodstock’s backstage too, drawing inspiration from one of the festival’s key (yet little known) figures: Mimi Fariña.
Sister of the much more famous Joan Baez, Mimi Fariña not only was a talented singer and activist, but also one of the scene’s most inspirational and iconic trendsetters. “She was really on the scene then and the muse for the collection,” explained Orla Kiely backstage.
The Orla Kiely spring/summer 2017 collection fluctuates thus between two different motifs, revisiting both the Woodstock scene and the life that was happening outside of it.
Although bonded together by a common late Sixties theme, the collection could be divided into two main sections, namely the one that is stricter to the festival-inspired ensembles, and the one that got inspired by the southern USA’s prairie dresses.
While the first part is all about oversized tunic dresses, sleek shirts and billowy palazzo pants, the second one treats us to a mixture of poplin dresses and pilgrim collars, the refined hems of which balance the collarless necklines of the other proposals. Although the Orla Kiely spring 2017 collection mainly features knee-length dresses, some looks contemplate short shorts too, adorned with cute floral embellishments as a way to keep the overall bon-ton allure strong.
Overall billowy and with cozy oversized lines, the line-up also features sensually naïve details, such as lace hems and tactic contrasting patterns at the waists, the delicacy of which effortlessly enhances the figures without looking too eccentric. Orla Kiely then completed her proposals with modernist pairs of Swedish Hasbeens clogs, which we bet will likely become one of next summer’s ultimate must-haves.
If you happen to live or be in New York at the end of the month, and would love to have a look at/purchase some of the Orla Kiely SS 2017 collection’s pieces, they are going to be available where the collection’s show was held, namely in Orla Kiely’s brand new shop in Bleecker Street.
Photos courtesy of Orla Kiely