SIXTIES SHORT: Orla Kiely, who cancelled her usual presentation last month preferring instead to launch the fall collection in her showroom, has unveiled a short film meant to highlight the collection — which she has dubbed Orla La — to consumers and wholesale clients.
“We have continued to sell during London and Paris fashion weeks, but we chose to launch the film digitally as it’s a great way to communicate with our customers and our wholesale clientele,” Orla Kiely told WWD. “The most immediate way to share a new spirit of the collection is through film and through Instagram.
“At Orla Kiely, we are not afraid to create our own paths and rules and tell our story the way we choose. We are a continually evolving creative company where ideas develop organically and are always true to our vision whether that’s through film, or a runway show or a rooftop breakfast presentation. We decide at the time which way is best to tell the new season’s story.”
The London-based designer tapped artist Mercedes Helnwein to direct the short movie. Kiely has worked with Helnwein in the past on films for her fall 2011 and spring 2012 collections.
“I admire Mercedes’ talent, vision and work. I feel we are on the same page aesthetically and both are big fans of the Sixties and Seventies. I was excited to be in Ireland, a truly magical setting with a wonderful Irish cast and crew. Each season has had its own personality and heroine: For fall 2011, we worked in Mercedes’ downtown L.A. studio and cast eight girls with Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ as a muse. For spring 2012, we liked the idea of filming in the Big Sur amongst nature. The girls were lost in the woods.”
In the four-minute film, models including donning Kiely’s latest line are dancing to Seventies beats and melodies created by Helnwein’s husband Chris Watson at Gurteen Castle — Helnwein’s family estate — in Tipperary, Ireland.
In the film, three modern-day Anna Kareninas set out to have fun, dancing their way through the castle on the lawns in their wool tweed suits, doing “The Frug” and “The Watusi” through the halls and library, daydreaming the time away in organza ruffle dresses.
“These girls are bringing a touch of mayhem and effortless style to the most traditional of homes. Again, we collaborated with our stylist friend Leith Clark, who works closely on this and helps to make the magic happen. The music was created by Mercedes’ husband Chris Watson, with the tempo building throughout the film, this keeps you dancing, too.”
The fall lineup included cozy outerwear and printed day dresses, which drew their inspiration from British Fifties and Sixties kitchen sink dramas; The New Wave, and Northern Soul, the early Seventies British dance movement based on American soul.