Orla Kiely for Uniqlo

The next day after my Marni for H&M let down, I decided to venture up to a store that never interested me much, on my lunch break.  It was Friday, and the weather was beautiful.

The Grand Opening of the enormous Uniqlo flagship store on 5th Avenue was in the Fall of '10, and I could have cared less.  I briefly walked through the downtown location, and it seemed to be a japanese version of Old Navy.  Being a curvy, full-figured woman with hips, I didn't stand a chance.  But I heard a few rumors that Orla Kiely was doing a basic line for them, and I thought this might be the medicine to make me feel better about the whole collabo line phenomenon! 

Orla Kiely is known more for her paper and home products, wallets and handbags.  But this Uniqlo line of strictly basics, was a way to introduce her patterns to apparel prior to the Grand Opening of her Soho Boutique and a Spring/Summer Collection available online.  I saw many classic patterns, and a few that might not have been as recognizable.  

Out of the entire Uniqlo collection, my favorite pieces were the $12.90 scarfs.  I also picked up this adorable cotton tank top ($19.90), that flares at the bottom - perfect with leggings!

Now this was the kind of collaboration that made sense.  Both parties benefit, and both expand their audience.  Orla has a small audience, and a slightly higher price point than what the items were going for at Uniqlo.  Still nowhere near the large gap between high end companies like Missoni, Marni, Lanvin, and Karl Lagerfeld mixing it up with H&M.   Now, for my new impression of Uniqlo?  I might give them another chance, for basics.   All of the staff was very friendly and helpful.  

This Irish, London-based designer has been a boutique favorite of mine for many years.  Her pieces could be found in Otto and Mint Julip, and now and again there will be some things at Anthropologie.  And I can't wait to have an afternoon in SoHo to check out the new boutique at 5 Mercer Street. 

In addition to the Stella McCartney for H&M line being one of my High-Low end collabo highlights, my home favorite was definitely the '09 Orla Kiely line for Target.  Not only do I still have most of the pieces, but they are a predominant part of our kitchen - adorable prints that wake me up in the morning!  If StellaBella was around, I'm sure I would have talked about this then, but you can see the entire line from 2009, on Apartment Therapy.


I wouldn't have half of these pieces if it were not for my wonderful mom.  Living in Brooklyn has its perks, but not when it comes to this.  The Atlantic Terminal Target had been ransacked on day one, but luckily with this collection, there was alot of stock.  I bought a few coffee mugs, but I went home feeling incomplete.  The Vestal, NY location that is near my mom had just about every piece after the 3rd day of the release, and my mom was able to get 2 of the 3 ceramic jars - SCORE!  She sent another box of more goodies - the flowered storage boxes have been really useful through the years.

This table cloth was once used for that purpose, but in the midst of our loft renovation (I promise the B&A post is coming), we pulled off the broken closet door.  I love having the bright Orla Kiely pattern instead of that broken door, the next step is to get it on a track, so it opens easier that the staple gun application currently in place.

Spring is in the air, and although we have had a very mild Winter - I'm looking forward to the flowers blooming and mixing pastels with brights and neons.  I will wear bright colors anytime of the year, but there is a breathe of fresh air in everyone's wardrobes twice a year - and that bi-annual event is right around the cormer!

Happy Spring 2012 -

La vita è bella,

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