Before you point out that 'All Around My Hat' is not a traditional Irish song, I discovered that a very Irish man called Peader Kearney did a version of it, so I think I’ve managed to stop my tenuous post title from unraveling before your very eyes!
Now, let’s get onto Orla. You will all be familiar, I’m sure, if not of her name then of the patterns she creates. Here’s her most famous 'stem' design.
At her first London Fashion Week, where she was, again, showing her hat designs, it was her father who noted that the ladies were all carrying handbags but none of them were wearing hats - good spot Daddy Kiely! Orla took inspiration from his observation and got to work on designing handbags. And in the late 1990’s she was the first to incorporate laminated cloth into her designs - back then this wipe-clean material was strictly tablecloth territory only!
in 1997, after a stint of consulting for other companies and working on her own designs at home on the weekends, she and her husband eventually set up The Orla Kiely Partnership. It was after another successful show at London Fashion Week that she got her first export orders.
And the rest is, as they say, history. You will see her designs on clothes, stationery, furniture, phone covers, wallpaper, kitchenware and even on the Citroen DS3 - inside and out!
Wishing you all a happy and stylish St. Patrick's Day.