Orla Kiely’s staycation chic: she’s back to cheer up your holiday


Orla Kiely’s staycation chic: After a four-year break from fashion, she’s back to cheer up your holiday

  • Orla Kiely, the designer behind the Stem print, is back after four years 
  • The Irish-based fashion designer has teamed up with Regatta for a collaboration
  • The cheery range includes sundresses, sandals, bucket hats and pop-up beach shelters and camping gear 

Planning a staycation this summer? The good news is that you’ll avoid airport hell. The bad? Well, let’s be honest, there’s a reason us Brits always bang on about the weather. 

And while you may wish your holiday wardrobe consisted of kaftans and sandals, what you really need are wellies and a waterproof. Enter Orla Kiely, the designer behind the instantly-recognisable Stem print, who is back to brighten up the great British summer, thanks to a collaboration with Regatta. 

Her cheery range includes sundresses, sandals, bucket hats — and pop-up beach shelters and camping gear. Kiely fans will find a lot to love in the prints. All feature her retro sensibility. 

Dress, £40, regatta.com; sandals, £179, lkbennett.com

Dress, £40, regatta.com; sandals, £179, lkbennett.com

This has been Kiely’s speciality since she launched the business, along with her husband Dermott Rowan, in 1995. Her coated fabric totes and stem-print cushions were mainstays of British accessory and homeware departments in the 2000s — few of us didn’t buy in to the brand in some way. Kiely also designed fashion collections — both Alexa Chung and the Duchess of Cambridge wore her vintage-look dresses. 

Top, £50, regatta.com; jeans, £49.99, zara.com; jumper, £69, boden.co.uk; sandals, £79, jigsaw-online.com

Top, £50, regatta.com; jeans, £49.99, zara.com; jumper, £69, boden.co.uk; sandals, £79, jigsaw-online.com

Coat, £110, regatta.com; T-shirt, £12.95, gap.co.uk; skirt, £115, jigsaw-online.com; wellies, £115, hunterboots.com

Blouse, £55, regatta.com; shorts, £139, lkbennett.com; sandals, £89, hush-uk.com; bag, £45, phase-eight.com

Left: Coat, £110, regatta.com; T-shirt, £12.95, gap.co.uk; skirt, £115, jigsaw-online.com; wellies, £115, hunterboots.com. Right: Blouse, £55, regatta.com; shorts, £139, lkbennett.com; sandals, £89, hush-uk.com; bag, £45, phase-eight.com

But in 2018, Kiely’s fashion business went into administration — she described the collapse as ‘a bereavement’ — and although her accessory and homeware ranges are available online, the Regatta collaboration marks her first foray into fashion since. Happily, it has all the hallmarks of a hit. Given Regatta’s reach — more than 60 stores and partners across the UK — Kiely’s picnic rugs, coolbags and windbreaks could become the unofficial beach kit of summer ’22. Heading to a chi-chi campsite? You’ll be able to play ‘spot the Orla slides’ at the shower block. 

Blouse, £55, regatta.com; trousers, £99, jigsawonline.com; sandals, £179, lkbennett.com

Blouse, £55, regatta.com; trousers, £99, jigsawonline.com; sandals, £179, lkbennett.com

For Kiely, choosing the must-have piece from the collaboration is easy: ‘The pac-a-mac.’ she tells me. ‘It reminds me of the camping holidays we went on in the 1970s.’ 

Dress, £40, regatta. com; shoes, £49.99, zara.com; bag, £129, whistles.com

Dress, £40, regatta. com; shoes, £49.99, zara.com; bag, £129, whistles.com

Coat, £110, regatta.com; T-shirt, £50, jigsaw-online.com; skirt, £199, lkbennett.com; trainers, £80, schuh.co.uk

Coat, £110, regatta.com; T-shirt, £50, jigsaw-online.com; skirt, £199, lkbennett.com; trainers, £80, schuh.co.uk

From poshed-up pac-a-macs to playful printed rain boots, the range caters for all weather eventualities — just the thing to jolly along the soggiest of staycations

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