Irish Designer Richard Malone dedicated his SS20 collection, presented at London fashion Week to his grandmother, Nellie Malone. After losing her a few months before, it has taken him to a place of creative refuge, sculpting and shaping something beautiful from the bleak.
This current body of work explores grief, honesty and change. The intricate illustrated prints visible underneath many of the looks in the collection are taken from scraps of paper and old till receipts, across which Richard and Nellie sat together, talked and drew. The collection continues to serve as his nod to the under-represented – Seamstresses, tailors, makers. It’s a conversation he had repeatedly with Nellie in the fast few months they had together – discussing the idea of the working class ‘taking up space’ and of rebellion through directing one’s own narrative. In collaboration with set designer Janina Pedan, an installation of sculpted forms in this afternoon’s show space explore these notions.
Silhouettes were strong, sculptural and crafted from Taroni silks, handwoven linen and horsehair canvas while sky blues, mint greens and vivid scarlets dominated the palette. offcuts in abstract shapes were given new life. Archive samples reconstructed and refurbished, integrating handwoven linen and horsehair canvas into masterful new work which tells the story of Malone’s inherent respect for tailoring. Each piece was tailored and cut by Malone for his cast of female muses. The metalwork seen as jewellery, belts and bag straps was painstakingly made by hand by Malone – originating, literally, as a distraction from his excruciating loss.