Photography by Akeela Bhattay
Go backwards. The Orla Kiely presentation felt like I was right within the earlier, midday sunshine’s force. As if within a film, I caught myself within a world created by the essence of an Orla Kiely mood board. The ladies wore pretty dresses, full skirts, little peter pan collars and straight backs. Their hair, sleek and steps, as light as a tap with a spoon on a sponge cake before it’s iced. The men were suited, genteel and admiring of the oh so pretty ladies. Polite bustle couldn’t help but circulate, like mini swiss roll whirlwinds, as champagne poured in rotund little glasses and delicate jam and buttercream cakes spun round the room. Icing was admired for its artistic prowess, whilst the chocolate bourbons, crunched with glee.
The ladies, the Orla Kiely models, sat patiently on smart velvet seats. Never with the men. They perched across from one another, whenever not dancing the 30s Charleston, or some such.
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It actually all started quite civilly. We were seated at the BFC, with the thought of coffee after perhaps, if it’s nice. Even a sit down on one of those benches outside, if there’s space and it’s not raining. It looked nice this morning and oh! joy! The tube was efficient too. Dum, dum, dum, twiddly dum. THEN EVERYTHING WEnt darK and we were told – as if in the science museum – about Antoni & Alison, their forming, ambitions and desires for their collections. It was very This Is Your Life. Nowt wrong with that, but then it couldn’t last, there must be drama! It went dark again. This was no place for sunday television’s genteel meanderings. Barriers should be broken, dresses must work like gunpowder and an audience must be left within the world of models in dresses, resolutely marching down the catwalk. For, that’s what we’re here for.
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