Orla Kiely – A Collection Grows Organically

We all know that lovely Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge is very good at recycling. Her Orla Kiely dress in rich chocolate brown with its stand out print demonstrates  just how down to earth she is.

Purchased at a charity auction, Kate wore her Orla Kiely dress while visiting a school at Oxford in England in February 2012.

She’s a girl after our own heart and if she loves a dress she wants to wears it again and again. And who can blame her for wanting to rock this cute number!

As the Orla Kiely range has it’s roots in the “stem” motif, it seems a natural progression that it should grow and also include a fabulous range of stylish and practical handbags.

In an age where we love fashion and interiors, it seems instinctive that the two should meet.

I had the pleasure of having an up close viewing of Orla Kiely (pronouced Ky-Lee) homewares recently, as well as their stylish range of bags under the moniker of “etc by orla kiely”.

The lovely Justine from Anasazi trading talked me through this classic range, which impressed me with its utilitarian luxury vibe.

An Irish born fashionable designer based in London, Orla Kiely is the creative behind the brand, with husband Dermott Rowan running the business side.

They have built a world class brand since 1997.

The signature “stem” motive follows through almost every piece of their range.

Think furniture, lighting, bed linens and cushions, rugs and throws.

Ceramics and towels round out this full collection with a funky retro feel.

Any piece of their homeware range I think would be a fabulous fit into all interiors, no matter what your style.

I particularly loved a plush rug, it had a sensational under foot feel, and a retrotastic arm chair with matching foot stool. Modern with a “Mad Men” edge.

The entire range prides itself on quality craftsmanship, using sleek walnut, thick wool, cotton and earthenware.

A terrific range of towels made in Portugal are of superior quality, and I fell in love with the bathmat, which I am told wears incredibly well.

Fabulous vases in an array of sizes to hold your favourite blooms, and a set of stylish storage tins that fit into one another are super for storage.

These would make lovely gifts.

With Mothers Day on the horizon, this label is a great choice for Mum’s of all ages.

Pop her favourite chocolates into the tins and include flowers with that wonderful vase. Perfect!

And now this snappy brand has extended itself to accessories.

The Orla Kiely brand has quality and functionality at its core, and this is shown perfectly through its new range of creative, and extremely practical bags.

From the quilted nylon range, consisting of the shopper, backpack tote and classic shoulder bag.

With three earthy hues, green, indigo or red, you’ll find it hard to decide on which one to have.

On to the fold over tote, mini box bag and midi sling bag, all in the “Tulip Stem” motif in an array of terrific tones.

There is something for everyone in this collection.

Then there is the super overnighter. Unisex in navy or kelp, this is a must for the regular weekend traveller.

Lightweight and durable, as all the range is, with detachable shoulder strap and wax coated finish, this holdall will be a “go to” piece time and time again!

I can’t stress enough how feather light all the pieces in the “etc by oral kiely” are. Some also have a unique purpose.

Her ‘charity’ bag supports children with cancer in the UK as well as the Royal College of Art, funding bursaries for textile students.

Orla’s bags help to fund nurses who coordinate children’s care at home so they can live as normal a life as possible

One of her smaller bags would also be excellent to pack in check-in luggage and whip out at your destination. The quintessential day bag.

After all, when you are sight seeing or shopping, who needs any extra weight to carry around. Some bags weigh a tonne before you even load them up with the bare necessities.

Believe me, I have learned the hard way, and am always on the look out for bags just like these!

Solid stitching, excellent hardware and zips ensure your bag will last for many trips either locally or abroad, and the wax coating means that they are so easy to keep clean.

Orla is driven by her passion for colour and pattern, I dare you not find something in her amazingly accessible range of bags or homewares, that inspires you too!

The ‘etc range by orla kiely’ is exclusively distributed by www.anasazihome.com (contact them for more details) and available through gifts.com.au.

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle,


  • Akabexarella says:

    Love love love this article! And thanks for making me realise I’ve been pronouncing Orla’s surname incorrectly the past few years!
    I discovered Orla when my taste in interiors matured from Shabby Chic (in my 20s) to mid century modern (my 30s).
    It’s great that you’re giving her some well deserved coverage
    Thanks Jo

  • Jo Bayley says:

    Thanks Bec,
    I must admit I was pronoucing it wrong too! Glad you enjoyed the piece and hope you keep reading Fashion Elixir.
    Kind Regards Jo Bayley

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