Saturday 19 October 2019

Richard Malone makes poignant tribute to gran in acclaimed LFW show

Models on the catwalk at the Richard Malone Spring/Summer 2020 London Fashion Week at the BFC Show Space, London
Models on the catwalk at the Richard Malone Spring/Summer 2020 London Fashion Week at the BFC Show Space, London
Richard Malone
Irish on the catwalk : Home-grown talents showing at London Fashion Week SS20 included this piece by Richard Malone. PHOTO: CHRIS YATES
Irish on the catwalk : Home-grown talents showing at London Fashion Week SS20 included this piece by Simone Rocha
Models present creations during the Simone Rocha catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A model presents a creation during the Simone Rocha catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Fashion designer Richard Malone's grandmother Nellie got to see his success and his talent being recognised on the international stage.

The Wexford woman used to travel over for Richard's shows at London Fashion Week, along with his dog. Nellie was an accomplished artist and once worked through the night with Richard so he could finish an art project.

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Losing his grandmother a few months ago took the designer to a place of creative refuge. Richard's latest body of work, shown at London Fashion Week (LFW) SS20 yesterday, explores grief, honesty and change and his show was dedicated to Nellie.

There was a new spirit of poignancy and poetry to his handwriting, and this saw him sculpt and shape something beautiful from the bleak.

The intricate illustrated prints visible underneath many of his looks are taken from scraps of paper and old till receipts.

And for the first time in Richard's work, eveningwear significantly anchors much of this proposition.

There was drama and wowness in sculptural full-length, flowing gowns in which you could appreciate his masterful navigation of fabric weight and garment construction.

Indeed, there was a wonderful sustainable quality to it, and panels were reconstructed from previous seasons' discarded cutting scraps. You could just hear Nellie: "waste not, want not".

Meanwhile, Simone Rocha did what she does best at LFW, and wove a wondrous spell around her audience, captivating them with her originality and extraordinary talent, with fabrications and silhouettes.

Simone's first three outfits were in a faded blue delph embroidered on to ivory tulle and then layered over either whisper soft tulle or broderie anglaise. The colour was new for Simone and left her audience in the Alexandra Palace gasping with delight.

The collection's starting point of Ireland and the Irish Wren Boys at Christmas took us on a clever journey inside and out of the grand house which, in turn, inspired the looks and dresses balancing masculinity and femininity.

She translated the peeling wallpaper prints on silk taffeta, and the interpretation of the delph and crockery with its china blue garlands on to tulle was a genius touch.

Models present creations during the Simone Rocha catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Models present creations during the Simone Rocha catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain, September 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Outside, the playful wrens with their straw hats gave life to hand-macramé aprons in hay and raffia worn as harnesses, baskets and added an intriguing and sculptural 3D layer to the clothing.

Paul Costelloe showed his 'West Coast Sonata' collection in Piccadilly yesterday, opting for retro prints and a palette of striking reds, coral and yellow.

His silhouettes featured oversized shoulder pads, tailored fit and flare dresses and what he called "feminine schoolboy shorts suits".

There was a myriad of necklines, from asymmetric and off-the shoulder to plunge.

Always loyal to using Irish linen, Paul's motto at the show was "it's not what you wear, it's how you wear it".

Irish Independent

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