Fashion & Textile Museum to stage Orla Kiely exhibition

A new exhibition celebrating Orla Kiely’s stylized graphic patterns and cheerful designs will open at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London this spring.


Photo: Orla Kiely

Featuring over 150 patterns and products, as well as collaborations with photographers, film directors and architects, the exhibition will pay homage to the Irish fashion designer, whose work is instantly recognisable for its nostalgic aesthetic and unique prints.

Highlights will include the original paper sketches for its trademark 'Stem’ graphic’, which was created in the 1990s defying the prevalent grunge culture for a vintage-inspired alternative. This print has become synonymous with the brand, featuring on everything from mugs and dresses to notebooks and even cars.

There will be also prototypes for her early signature bags and the evolution of the iconic ‘Pear’ and ‘Flower’ prints.

Born in 1963, Orla Kiely is one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful fashion designers. She worked for Esprit, Marks & Spencer and Habitat before launching her own brand in 1997 with her husband Dermott Rowan.

Their brand has three stores in the UK, one in New York and another one in Tokyo, and is stocked by hundreds of retailers in countries like China, Finland, Germany, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Denmark and the US.

The exhibition Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern will open on 25 May and run until 23 September 2018.

Additionally, Kiely and curator Dennis Nothdruft will discuss the exhibition and her work at a London Fashion Week Festival event on 23 February.

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