[Trendzilla] A Midcentury Nut's Dream

Sometimes it’s difficult remembering how things were before the advent of the Internet.

Remember having to go to the library to do your elementary-school research reports? And thumbing through those musty-smelling card catalogs (that, I must add, go for hundreds at flea markets these days—I scored a two-tiered, solid-oak piece originating from the Santa Ana Public Library at the monthly Long Beach Antique Market a few months ago for $150, though I’ve seen them go for as high as $400 on eBay and Craigslist.)

Point being: Thanks to the Internet, things can blow up overnight. It happened to local boys-made-good the Cold War Kids, didn’t it? (Though that same abrupt, explosive hype might have eventually contributed to their decline in popularity, also. Eh.)

So it wasn’t all that surprising when the interior-design blogs were all over the Orla Kiely for Target household collection within—literally—20 minutes of the launching of the press release. And me? I actually gasped aloud when I happened upon the news. From tiered serving trays to pear-patterned glasses and place mats and dishes and trays to aprons in oranges, goldenrods, browns and turquoises . . . I want it all.

The inception of the Orla Kiely brand began in 1993, after fancy-pants London department store Harrods commissioned a line of hats from Kiely following her graduation from the Royal College of Art. Since then, Kiely’s graphic prints have made her a leading name for design aficionados everywhere. Her trademark leaf prints have shown up on handbags, hats, luggage and all sorts of other accessories for outrageous prices at high-end department stores and boutiques. An equally pricey clothing line of Mad Men-esque perfection (dresses alone typically go for upward of $400) has also been launched.

It’s easy to spot an Orla Kiely piece: The color palette is usually soothing, in popular midcentury color combinations, and it’s always down-to-earth, femme, cheery and, yes, even retro without the typical obnoxious factor. And the line for Target is a great way to add a little color and fun to your household for extremely reasonable prices, all falling within the $2.49 to $21.99 range.

“My designs are based on quality and practicality,” Kiely says. “Through my partnership with Target, I am able to share this vision with a much broader audience, providing them with great design at a great price.”

The Orla Kiely for Target line will hit stores the first week of February. And if you shop at the Target on Harbor in Costa Mesa? NEVER.

See the collection in our slideshow here

vchang@ocweekly.com

 
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