Richard Malone isn’t afraid to make a statement in more ways than one: the set, a dispirited birthday party; the clothes, striped stoles from recycled dogbeds; and the colors, a commentary on Brexit.
“It’s on my mind all the time, so I think it’s just figuring out business. There’s also a landscape of imagery we’re living in and being from the South of Ireland, the border between North and South was really intense and getting more intense by the minute,” he said, adding that he wanted to make people feel uncomfortable.
To that effect, the first model walked out in complete silence wearing a tailored oversized blazer. Audience members looked around wondering if a mistake had been made. Then just as she stepped backstage, music blared from the speakers.
Laddering appeared on knits, while ruching appeared down long-line shirts and up the fronts of midiskirts. He created a swirling pattern with fringe and this embellished blue silk trousers and tops. There were other tops, such as a pale blue and burgundy brushstroke printed long-sleeved one, with puckered looking bra cups.
“It’s looking back at the time when I was young and remembering how everyone would see a bra for the first time, not understanding what they were and everyone would be trying them on and it’d create a weird puckered shape,” Malone explained.
He also played with shapes on outerwear. Hand-painted mohair cropped jackets and long coats featured structured balloon sleeves in Union Jack and “street party flag” colors, red, white and blue, which also made up the palette of his collection.
Despite his bleak references, the clothes were beautifully rich in color and detail.