The Orley design trio of Matthew, Alex and Samantha Orley (two brothers and a spouse), are among the most accomplished young designers showing a 2016 resort line. They have become the favourites of New York’s CFDA Fashion Incubator set, and with such accomplishments as a finalist position for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Fund, a spot on this year’s LVMH Prize shortlist and a current nomination for this year’s CFDA menswear Swarovski Award, its no surprise that their first full womenswear resort collection was one of the most anticipated premieres of the season.
Till now, Orley has been recognized as a men’s knitwear brand known for its sharp, colourfully ultramodern take on classic gentlemen’s styles. Naturally- especially given the fashion world’s current normcore obsession, women’s wear is an obvious progression for the brand as it provides the opportunity to experiment beyond their proven boundaries. Plus, as vibrant colour and punchy motifs have been integral parts of the Orley aesthetic since the beginning, and there’s more of an openness to it in womenswear than men’s, Orley is taking the next step.
Though the brand has already experimented with womenswear this past Fall with a fully merchandised 15-piece capsule collection, but this 2016 Resort offering marks the brand’s first true foray into ladies’ clothing.
True to form, the trio delivered a superb collection of streamlined sporty knits with a quirky twist. Knitwear was a major feature, with a fabulous array of luxurious separates, all hand constructed out of delicately lacy crochet work and chunky bubble weaves. Menswear references are unavoidable for the team, and to a great extent the women’s collection reflected a gentleman’s sensibility. There’s a strong look of vintage men’s sportswear to the array of slender midi-length skirts, jumpers, Tee-shirt tunics, vest and pullovers that work exceedingly well with geeky striped cardigan twinsets, graphic tennis shirts, roomy cable-knit sweaters, lean tank dresses, long piqué-necked coats and sleek coat-length vests.
The resultant look is quirky yet upbeat, youthful and nostalgic… and that’s exactly what the designers aimed to achieve. “It’s youthful but not necessarily young,” Alex Orley commented, “We like to deconstruct old clothing or something nostalgic or retro. It feels familiar but done in a slightly subverted way.”
Orley’s 2016 Resort Collection provides an engaging taste of what fierce looks the label will have to offer in future seasons. I can’t wait for more!
Xx – Ana