I was never much a Girl Guide when I was younger. I got as far as my Kelpie badge would take me in Brownies and then decided that actually the delights of Tammy Girl, my Mums high heels and Seventeen magazine (uh-huh showing my age there) were much more my thing than hiking through the woods in matching fleecy jumpers and sleeping in tents while worrying about those hyenas someone had supposedly just heard.
However, had Girl Guide camping been a little more like Orla Kiely's SS14 interpretation, I might have been more keen.
After last season's too cool for school (or rather office) affair I had high hopes for this particular presentation, and it certainly didn't disappoint. The success since last season was evident from the offset as I arrived (thankfully in plenty of time) to a growing queue for the second to last showing and had to wait patiently and strain my eyes through the first run through before I could actually get anywhere near seeing anything for the second. Set in the same space as last season, a small and narrow gallery up some very steep stairs (not good for an army of fashionistas in precarious footwear and carrying everything but the kitchen sink), it had this time been transformed into a safari kingdom full of old oil lanterns, fishing nets and even a 5 foot zebra looking on from the corner. The strong smell of sawdust and wet grass only added to the outdoorsy feel and as always with Orla Kiely, you quickly became immersed in the whole experience.
As an REM version of 'The Lion sleeps tonight' began to play, the typical Orla girl models sauntered out in signature tea dresses, long socks and berets. If only the Girl Guides had taken heed of this kind of uniform when I was younger, my childhood might have taken a very different route. While sipping on bubbly with added animal related decoration and childhood classic cartons of Umbungo, we watched as the models made themselves at home in the campsite, lighting fires, painting and searching for unknown sights through binoculars.
As well as the classic button down shirts, oversized collars and polkadots so often present in Orla Kiely's collections, this range included delightful giraffe and zebra prints on dresses, shirts and tees, cartoon lion motifs on knits and gorgeous vintage style cross body camera bags which I can't wait to get my hands on. Not to mention the type of white knitted knee socks I used to wear in primary school (can I justify breaking these out again come Summer?) and a collaboration with high street shoe brand Clarks which means those cute sandals and Mary Janes are going to be more affordable than you perhaps first thought.
Apologies as my photos aren't the best, I was thwarted slightly by two large cameras who insisted on pitching up at the last minute and obscuring my view but you can also check out Carrie, Kristabel or Kylie's posts as they have all captured the proceedings beautifully!
Once again Orla Kiely you have captured my heart and made me want to dress like my inner child. Now I simply must dig out my photos from last seasons presentation and start channeling that AW13 look immediately!