London Fashion Week 17:: Richard Malone.
Richard Malone graduated from Central Saint Martins, BA Fashion Womenswear in 2014, where he was awarded the LVMH Grand Prix scholarship. Moreover, his graduate collection was the one to open the BA Fashion press show as well as was awarded the Deutsche Bank Award for Fashion (previously won by Christopher Kane). This graduate collection was stocked in Brown Thomas Dublin, an Irelands leading luxury store and part of Selfridges group.
‘Malone’s collections have been celebrated by international press and featured in major print and online publications including LOVE, Dazed, Interview, AnOther, Vogue Italia, Vogue India, British Vogue, WWD, The Independent and the Irish Times. Recently, Malone was selected by the BBC as one of the Best Young Artists under 25 working in the UK, the only fashion designer in the selection.’
His first independent presentations for London Fashion Week took place in 2015. This year, he has presented his AW17 collection in BFC, 180 The Strand. Presentation included life performance of dancers: Chihiro Kawasaki, Emma Fisher and Julie Ann Minaai.
Patterns are inspired by the seats and soft furnishings found on public transports: trains, buses and ferries that Richard used to travel by. The colour palette is drawn from an often seen but rarely examined place: high visibility signage. Harsh colour combinations produce trompe l’oeil effects, which almost hurt the eye to look at- something Malone enjoys.
The bold graphics of these patterns also reflect the designer’s aptitude for arithmetic-maths was his best subject at school.
Shapes are informed by functional workwear such as aprons which, like bus seats and street signs, are often overlooked, disappearing within backgrounds. Sustainable produced, these garments champion the idea of work itself- all of them made using traditional crafts which are in sharp decline. Designed by Malone and hand-woven and dyed by artisanal weavers, they celebrate the workers themselves through individual tags bearing the code of the weaver. Some quilted, some not, the are constructed from hard-wearing fabric too and, despite their sculptural appearance, are designed with wearability and, ultimately, the wearer in mind. Several are fitted with pockets and bias cut trouses, are fitted with vents so you can alter the fit and ensure a greater level of comfort.
This collection demonstrates Malone’s skill as a pattern cutter. Daringly original and impossible complex, he creates, cuts and assembles these patterns himself, from scratch. They are designed to be to be seen from all angles, not just from a front-on view, as well as in motion- this session, the designer has enlisted several dancers to join his cast and demonstrate his designs in a more dynamic way.
Above all, this offering represents Malone’s latest response to the needs of the women he knows and loves- clothes that liberate their bodies instead of restricting them. It’s a new and radical uniform for the woman who refuses to conform.