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Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern (Touring)

Start Date 25 May 2018
End Date 23 September 2018
Venue Fashion and Textile Museum
Location London, UK
Curator Dennis Nothdruft and Mary Schoeser
Exhibition display of hanging garments

Orla Kiely is one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful designers. Her stylized graphic patterns are innovative, influential and instantly recognisable. With a global audience in thrall to the rhythms and repeats of her designs, this exhibition explores the power of decoration to transform the way we feel.

Featuring over 150 patterns and products, as well as collaborations with photographers, film directors and architects, Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern emphasises the role of ornament and colour in our everyday lives. Highlights include the original paper sketches for the trademark ‘Stem’ graphic, created in the 1990s, which has evolved to feature on everything from mugs and dresses to notebooks and even cars, plus prototypes for her early signature bags and the evolution of the iconic ‘Pear’ and ‘Flower’ designs. With unique access to the company archives, the exhibition offers a privileged insight into the designer’s world – how she works, what has inspired her, and why her facility with pattern has produced designs that have resonated around the world. This exhibition is a must-see opportunity for everyone interested in the changing look of the 21st century environment.

Image courtesy of Fashion and Textile Museum, London


Fashion and Textile Museum, London | 25 May – 23 September 2018

Winchester Discovery Centre, Winchester, UK | 12 October 2019 – 5 January 2020

Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, UK | 7 February – 29 June 2019

Norwich University East Gallery, Norwich, UK | 30 October 2018 – 5 January 2018