What makes an iconic wallpaper design? Blog #1

Image credit: Orla Kiely Stem wallpaper

Orla Kiely’s rounded leaf pattern, Stem, is so popular it functions as a trade mark. 

It can be found on wares from notebooks to mugs to cushions.  It even featured on a Citroen car!

Orla Kiely stem print on Citroen car

Image credit: Concept car

So why did her design become such a classic? 

Her colourful take on stylized, nature-inspired designs was a welcome relief from the rather austere minimalism of the mid-nineties. 

The pleasing rhythmic repetition of pattern appealed, too, perhaps for the same reasons. 

And almost anyone who describes her designs uses the word ‘retro’. Perhaps we were longing for some of the pizzazz of the Swinging Sixties to brighten up our lives.

Whatever it was, it garnered fans from fashion to royalty, with Alexa Chung, Kiera Knightly and the Duchess of Cambridge all declaring themselves devotees. 

Kate Middleton in orla Kiely print dress

Image credit: Glamour

One of her plant pots recently made its millionth sale – which might be why it’s sold out on the John Lewis site!

If you’re a fan, don’t miss her current exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum near Tower Bridge

Victoria x

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