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Umbrellas, a pooch and the cat's meow: Retro fun for wet weather at Orla Kiely's London show

A model poses with an umbrella during a presentation of creations by designer Orla Kiely at London Fashion Week on Saturday Feb. 15, 2014. (AP Photo / Sylvia Hui)

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A model poses with an umbrella during a presentation of creations by designer Orla Kiely at London Fashion Week on Saturday Feb. 15, 2014. (AP Photo / Sylvia Hui)

LONDON - England's wet weather may be driving fashionistas crazy, but Orla Kiely used London Fashion Week to remind us that an indoor rain effect can be cute and romantic. Especially when it comes with a few cats and dogs.

The Dublin-born designer, best known for her popular 60s-ish prints of leaves and vines, ditched a traditional runway and went for a square show space set up to look like a corner in the park for her Saturday show at London Fashion Week.

That set the scene for a show inspired by "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," the classic movie starring Catherine Deneuve. Models wearing sweet polka dot dresses, retro floral print tunics, preppy trouser suits and clunky Mary-Jane shoes wandered dreamily around as if in a living storybook. Some looked up at imaginary rainclouds in the distance, while others daydreamed on the bench.

Clear plastic umbrellas came out as the soundtrack and light effects simulated a rainstorm, interspersed whimsically with meows and barks. It was irresistibly fun, and the pet animal theme continued on printed sweaters and little cat and dog clutch bags. One model even hugged a sleepy black pooch.

The show wrapped up as models paraded in shiny PVC printed trench coats to a closing song. What else? "Singin' in the Rain," of course.

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Follow Sylvia Hui on http://www.twitter.com/sylviahui

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