Since presenting his first independent collection in A1W15 Irish designer Richard Malone has grown in confidence season by season. For SS19, he has seriously hit his stride.
There is a quiet confidence in Richard Malone’s collections. He may not be one of the most well known names on the schedule thus far but kicking off London Fashion Week today, the 26-year-old designer showed an accomplished collection that will firmly cement his name as one of the most exciting talents working in the city right now.
This season, the notion of the unseen is Malone’s key influence – the designer keeps a log of random ‘crap’ camera images in his iPhone that spark off moments of inspiration. For SS19 that one spark came in the form of a person’s face picked out from a crowd, ending up as a print on blouses and skirts. There was a seriously sexy side to Malone’s collection this season too, aided by a partnership with Italian fabric house Taroni that afforded him the use of sumptuous double faced satin in an array of rainbow brights. Pink, yellow, green and blue dresses with power shoulders and cut out slits shimmied down the catwalk accompanied by ‘turbo-tassled tube skirts and printed micro minis – a Richard Malone first. As the designer noted, this is a collection to “get laid in”. Given though, that Malone is a designer with a steadfast commitment to sustainability, the sexy was all environmentally friendly – the fabric Econyl, a regenerative nylon composition that can be recycled over and over again, was also used throughout the collection.
But while the collection is outwardly sexy, Malone also has female power on the mind – something that should come as no surprise given that the Irish designer was a staunch campaigner in this year’s Repeal the 8th campaign to legalise abortion in his home country. With empowerment always at the forefront of his narrative this season is once again a celebration of the complexity of women in all their glory, unifying the terms strong and sexy yet not defining women solely by either.
15 September 2018