Recent Posts

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Orla Kiely haterade

It all started innocently enough. I'm up early because of some iffy pizza from last night's dinner, and I'm browsing through my reader. A "before & after" pops up on Design Sponge, the craftacular blog of all things glue gun. And it's an Orla Kiely for Target tablecloth sewn up into throw pillows. Because the crafter (from here on out, a dirty word on La Lamp Shade) felt this item has Shroud of Turin-like qualities and mustn't be allowed near food.


Now I have to admit that Miz Kiely has flown under my radar for the past several years because every time I see her stuff, I think "Gross. Aging sorority chick/Junior League twat/what one does after the Kate Spade love has worn thin." I went to look up her Wiki page and weirdly enough none exists. I say that because the Google search unearthed hundreds of blog references starting with the sentence "OMG!!! Orla Kiely's [insert newest piece of crap] is so cute/amazing/totes what I need and was dreaming about."

An Orla Kiely store somewhere on the planet.

So I go to Kiely's website to have a looksee and - holy mother of derivative Scandinavian design - is this woman prolific. Clothing, accessories, a home collection, stationery, wallpaper, and all manner of bags covered in pears and stems. Girlfriend loves a stem, huh? Kiely's website claims that "the key to what drives Orla is her fixation on the evolution of a signature style" which is hilarious because I just see the same couple of motifs repeated ad nauseam.

A Google image search turned up a bus in Hong Kong (is Kiely big in Asia?)...


A camping collection (like Kiely devotees would get dirt under their buff-colored manis)...


A design for what must be Bellevue's latest patient uniform. The color of dot tells you which ward you belong in...


...and a travel collection. If I see you in an airport smugly toting this luggage, I'm going to call over the closest TSA official and tell him you have a dirty bomb.



Now I know a couple of my very good blogging buddies are Orla Kiely fans, and I hope we can remain on speaking terms. Thank God I don't have anonymous commenting switched on because I have a feeling an epic fangirl shitstorm would be raining down on my head. It may be anyway.

60 comments:

M said...

Raina sweetie your ranting again!

So breath in and breath out!

Turn the computer off!

and back away from the monitor!

Go do some craft work on your felt rock to get your mind of Orla I love my pear stem Kiely.

pillow mint said...

Your courage impresses me. Maybe it's because I'm a new blogger, but right now I don't have the guts to write a blog like that.
So, in response, all I have to say is THANK YOU! You have taken the words right out of my mouth. The straw that broke the camel's back is, obviously, her jumping on the Target boat. Ugh. Good lord almighty , *that* much O.K., *that* available? Shoot me now.

Sol Kawage said...

I think OK's success is a perfect example of bandwagonnery gone way too far.

Christina @ Pardon my Vintage said...

OK, I love me some stem print, but I'm getting a wee bit tired of seeing the same thing over and over again in my Google Reader, too. This too will pass.

(I get that hating on everything is your schtick, but is there anything you do like? Just starting to wonder ...)

Raina said...

Well pardon me, Pardon My Vintage. If you would scroll down to the previous post, you would find 10 random things that make me happy.

Raina said...

Actually, the post before that.

http://ifthelampshadefits.blogspot.com/2009/03/10-random-things-that-make-me-smile.html

Christina @ Pardon my Vintage said...

Heh. OK, you had me at the sweet rug, but your little Pea and the wigged cat made me smile. I did like that post.

Sorry, it's your blog. Hate away. ;-)

Raina said...

Will do. Blogging is way cheaper than anger management therapy.

Christina @ Pardon my Vintage said...

True! Who am I kidding? Your snark is why I subscribed.

*shaking off fangirl rage*

Andrea said...

Hi Raina - I've been following your blog for a few months now and love your no-holds-barred honesty...is she (Orla) trying to give mid-century modernism a bad name on purpose?

--Andrea

Designers' Brew said...

I don't mind it, but I am unbelievably sick of seeing it everywhere, and I'm perplexed by the breathless enthusiasm it seems to inspire. Give me the original midcentury fabrics and ceramics any day. And that dress is an abomination.

Raina said...

Hi ya Andrea and welcome! I'm thinking Disney, progenitor of all things saccharine, has a controlling stake in her company.

only a movie said...

The dress looks like the Twister game pad.

citysage said...

Very few things make me laugh out loud, but you My Dear, are one of them. Love it or hate it, your Orla rage has me splitting my seams.

And do you seriously KNOW know that red headed shopbop model? she's been on their site for as long as I can remember (and believe me, my history with shopbop is long and sordid). Stories? Do tell!

David said...

I'm with you on this one Raina!

Raina said...

I do and I'll PM you about it, Anne. I've had the weirdest life, I'm like 3 degrees of separation from everyone rather than 6.

abchao said...

Wait, so I shouldn't send you this set of rocks I covered with bits of Orla Kiely tablecloth? Dang.

I'll also spare you the link to a Flickr picture in which I am wearing that yellow apron up there. I do love Orla, but I love your hatred even more.

Baglady said...

I used to love OK (I have half a dozen bags) but now she's the new Radley - bags that all the working classes (yes, I said working class!) buy because they've just discovered them. Yawn. And who needs an OK print bottle anyway? I mean!

Melafrique said...

Admittedly i am an orla kiely fan but this has made me laugh. What an assessment.

Mr London Street said...

Yeah, she's no Neisha Crosland.

Enough pattern related name dropping.

Camilla @ Designalogue Blog said...

I will take the tent and leave all the rest at Target thank you.
I'm thinking the tent would be quite the asset at a music festival camping and drinking for days - the tent would stand out in the blury haze!!
(oh, Im totally pretending to myself that I still do things rather than work and sleep!)
- loved your rant by the way & agree with every word! (oh but I DO think the frock is cute!-just needs a colour tie around the waist and its super cute!)

Leigh said...

I have never really gotten the whole fanatical obsession with Orla. I didn't even know who she was until a few years ago when I worked for a friend at little boutique in SoHo one weekend. People were beating the doors down for that shit. I was like, "what IS this?!? Whyyyyy???" I do have to say that I remember seeing Orla's home in Domino once, and I was shocked that I liked it as much as I did. The vibe of her place wasn't nearly as annoying as her merch.

Jesselyn said...

Mmmmm delicious haterade...Yeah at first it seems kind of nice, until you look back on her work and she has made 2 FREAKING PATTERNS. EVER. When the internet orgasm'd over the Target line I went to check it out, and it was definitely not a good looking in person - there must be some color tweaking going on in those photos.

Jesselyn said...

Oh PS Jesselyn = JessJezzz

Raina said...

Hi ya Jesselyn/JessJezzz and welcome!

Alexis said...

I will admit that I have 2 Orla Kiely bags from several years ago and I love them even now. but I agree that it is all a bit too much now. I didn't like the Target stuff and I am sick of her 2 patterns.

However, my sister has a small bathroom with Orla Kiely wallpaper on the walls and it is amazing. I'll send you a picture!

Robin said...

She's like the one hit wonder whom no one told that the hit was just the once.

Raina's Nightmare Bathroom:
subway tile
vessel sink
zebra rug
mirrored console
starburst mirror over said console
Orla shower curtain!

Designers' Brew said...

Robin, you forgot:

-accessories from Z Gallerie
-a motorized "water feature"

Rains, I know you far too well for someone I've never actually met in real life. :)

Raina said...

Enh, a minor detail.

ashley english said...

I dislike every OK thing except for her Lusk couch for Heals: http://www.heals.co.uk/Sofas/Orla-Kiely-Lusk-Sofa-Henna/invt/863397&bklist=icat,2,mycatref
It's streamlined, tasteful, full of architectural interest, and, the best part...wait for it....nary a friggin' stem in sight!
But then, I don't do "cute." At all. If forced to describe my design sensibilities, I'd have to say "earthy modern"-I do live in the middle of a forest, after all. I'll probably end up with a daughter who traffics in all manner of pink things and cuteness, although I'm already planning that her bedroom will be a deep aubergine (I'm not even pregnant!) in an attempt to thwart any pink tendencies before they come to fruition....
Anyway, thank you for your candor. Be the lone voice crying in the design wilderness!!

nkp said...

:0) :0) :0) :0) :0) :0)

Oh, I'm too old to laugh this hard so early in the morning. If I get a hernia it's all.your.fault.

I must admit, I like some of her prints in very small doses. That said, I hope she keeps making them in multitudes so long as it provides you with fodder for your rants and raves! I always trust you to say what most won't, but should!

Love the post, Mrs. Obvious.

XO

susieq said...

I'm neither here nor there on OK. But, I'm laughing out loud at beautiful brazen indictment. So fun!

Alicia B Designs said...

FINALLYYYYYYYYYYYYY. I felt so distressed when I saw that post on Design Sponge. What happened to being selective in our tastes? That stuff is so cheap looking. And I'm not even being snobby, I love Target! Anyway, amaaaaaaaazing post. Thanks for that. Phew I thought I was alone on that.

PutzFrau said...

Am I the only one who is going to stick up for Ms. Kiely?

Her prints have a vintage feel to them but with updated colors and materials. Her stuff IS over priced but there is plenty of over-priced "disigner" crap that is WAY worse.

Two words: VERA BRADLEY

Raina said...

Oh, Putzfrau, VB is another post altogether! I'm from Indiana, so I know from some Vera.

The locals used to lose their minds whenever VB had a sample/overstock sale. VB would rent out a stadium (no lie) in Ft. Wayne and the ladies would come from two states away on buses for that junk.

erin@designcrisis said...

I have simply ignored the Kiely whenever confronted with her ubiquitous prints. They appear to be marketed toward 13 year old girls, anyway.

Love your rants -- wouldn't be the same blog without them!

erin@designcrisis said...

Hate VB so very much more than the Kiely.

hello gorgeous said...

I'm with Miss E. I don't really have an opinion on this stuff one way or the other but damn you are funny when steamed up.

Christina @ Pardon my Vintage said...

Oh dear ... VB is an abomination. People drove in from two states away, really? I lived in South Bend/Mishawaka for a few years ... thank goodness I never encountered that much Vera. ;-)

gracie o said...

cheers! *drinks the haterade*

Charmz All Over said...

LAWD HAMMERCY Im not the only one who HATES OK!!!!! I HEART your blog, I HEART people who tell it like it is, or as they see it, you go gurl!! Keep on blogging!!

Raina said...

Hi ya Charmz and welcome to this deliciousness!

karly / design-crisis.com said...

Sorry, i don't have time to read all FOURTY TWO comments, but here's my two cents: that shit is a bunch of crap.

karly / design-crisis.com said...

Also, in the D*S after: that craft ho needs to learn how to match her patterns on the seams. THAT is my pet peave.

charlotte said...

seeing as how the only other time i have been motivated to comment involved OK, just want to reiterate THANK YOU good god with this crap.

Tikimama said...

And there I was, staring at a bunch of OK stuff at Target (my fave store) on clearance, thinking, "I should buy some of this now that it's cheaper. Every blogger has been raving about it. But...I'm not so sure I *like* it..." I ended up buying a small storage box for 5 bucks because it has the blue background color I like, and the flowers. I couldn't buy the kitchen stuff - ug.

Thank you for reminding me to trust my own taste and not need to follow the crowd!

Raina said...

Hi ya Tikimama and welcome to this deliciousness! I'm glad you weren't swayed by Orla's siren song. ;)

The TownhouseLady said...

THANK YOU!!!

I have been thinking this ever since I first saw the line at Target. It's AWFUL and I just don't get what people see in it!!

You read my mind (but phrased it much more eloquently)!

me melodia said...

I love you!!!
"Aging sorority chick/Junior League twat/what one does after the Kate Spade love has worn thin"- you hit the nail on the head.

ps. I spotted a ton of her crap in the target sale bin last week. bahahaha.
She's killed pears and pea soup green for me.
cunt.

nath said...

oh dear. hahahahahaahahaha, did someone up there just say cunt? suddenly i feel mighty at home. i also made a comment on the ubiquitousness (is that a word?) of Orla's 'work' on Design Sponge and did pretty much get a fangirl shitstorm, but it needed to be said. it's so boring.

anyway love the real vibe. XX

Raina said...

Hi ya Nath and welcome to this deliciousness!

I've loved your Design Crisis comments long time.

amy @ switz~art said...

i would give nearly anything to read a raina rant on vera bradley! that shit sucks!

this post, as are all your others (here and on tiger butter) are freakin' brilliant!

littlebeachbum said...

Raina, I know this is an old post, but I somehow ended up here (followed a link from a blogroll and through various links wound up on this post) and was HOWLING with laughter.I am 100% agreement with you on this, and your writing is so damn funny! I will definitely be back to read more.

And p.s. one more thing: as an "aging sorority chick/Junior League twat" (tho never been a Kate Spade fan), I have to say that neither I nor any of my fellow "aging sorority sisters" would be caught dead with any of that shit in our homes/on our person! :)

red.neck chic said...

Oh my gosh... I ended up here (I don't know why) but I think you've got yourself a new blog-stalker. I am laughing so hard I can't even think of anything good to say!!! Now I'm off to check out the rest of your fun!!!

;-) robelyn

Louise (Table Tonic) said...

Hehehe. You are the goods. xxx

etoilee8 said...

I bought a bag in 2004 after moving home from London and feeling pretty bummed about it. I no longer carry that bag. You summed it up pretty perfectly.

Something old, something New. said...

I wonder what you think now... she everywhere!when will it go away!!

Raina Cox said...

Something old, something New - I'm still not a fan.

Cindybin said...

MUST you use profanity?? It is terrible you used the sh-word! That is so crude and offensive and unladylike! Do you talk this way in real life? Here I am always chastising the GUYS for using crude language because ladies are on the Internet and we can READ what they type, and so it REALLY drives me nuts when a woman swears! We will never get the guys to respect women and understand that a gentleman shouldn't swear in front of a lady, as long as LADIES swear. Nobody should swear! But of course they guys all see women like you using such language, and so they think THEY have to swear, too, for fear of being called a sissy. And they think that women don't even mind profanity! How sad is that??? Why didn't anybody else speak up about the crude, unladylike language you used??

Raina Cox said...

Cindybin - It's called "free speech" for a reason. So fuck off.