The Irish designer tends toward pieces that combine retro styling with heavy doses of whimsy, and this season’s collection
is no exception. These clothes are heavy on linen, novelty animal prints, and plenty of pastel colors. It’s, essentially, what would happen if the characters from a Moonrise Kingdom
went on a safari. I love it so hard, y’all.
To channel the collection properly, I obviously
needed a linen dress and cows to photograph it by, in lieu of the typical safari fare. Mood, as always, came to my fabric rescue! There are so many lovely linens
in stock right now, but I settled on this gorgeous navy from Ralph Lauren
and a coordinating light coral
. In person, these fabrics are completely sumptuous. Sure, linen is infamous for wrinkles, but once you’ve felt it against your skin, who even cares? It’s the very definition of cool, billowy comfort! In Texas, we really appreciate such things.
Christine Haynes’ Emery dress, with its 1960s flare and gently gathered skirt, seemed the perfect fit for these fabrics. The collar provides a lovely bit of contrast for the pink linen, while the fit-and-flare silhouette really takes advantage of the navy linen’s body. Just look at how swishy that skirt is! It’s such fun to wear, even if a little perilous on windy days like the one pictured.
Sewing this up was such an easy, joy filled experience. Not only did the navy of this linen hold up beautifully in the pre-wash, but it sewed like a dream. There was nary a fray or an unravel, after cutting, and the stitches blended in like magic. The collar is interfaced, but probably didn’t even need it, because the midweight coral fabric holds shape so well. Why haven’t I sewn with more linen in the past? It’s perfect for summer and
easy to sew with!
In the end, this dress is a bit more casual than Orla Kiely’s originals, but it’s such fun to wear. I love the pairing of colors and cool elegance of this fabric. While a twee safari isn’t in my immediate future, this dress will be just as great for those road trips into the Texas Hill Country! Though, as these pictures can attest, the time it takes to drive to picturesque cows is precisely aligned with how long linen takes to wrinkle. Ah well, safaris are meant for comfort, after all.