London Fashion Week: Richard Malone’s bold colour and daring shapes

The Wexford designer’s workmanship was clear in his spring-summer 2019 collection

London Fashion Week: Richard Malone’s spring-summer 2019 collection opened the event today. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

London Fashion Week: Richard Malone’s spring-summer 2019 collection opened the event today. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

 

Bold colour, daring shapes, graphic prints and outstanding workmanship marked Richard Malone’s spring-summer 2019 collection, which opened London Fashion Week this morning at Somerset House, the first of more than 80 shows on the official calendar.

The London-based Wexford designer, whose family were out in force to support him, is known for a fearless approach to his work, his Repeal the 8th campaigning and his unwavering support of women’s creativity. “I have so often heard a piece of design or art produced by a woman referred to, patronisingly, as ‘craft’. If it were produced by a man it would be taken more seriously,” he said.

Bags made from recycled truck tarpaulins were further evidence of Malone’s steadfast commitment to sustainability

Malone, who will unveil a solo art exhibition in November, has used couture techniques for this collection, which featured lavish double-faced satin in vivid colours: sapphire, lime green, red, gold and pale blue for trouser suits with lightweight balloon-sleeved jackets. A fabric made from a reusable nylon composite provided softer lines for long fluid dresses laced, quilted, dip-dyed or ruched. Flying ribbons and turbo tassels fluttered on everything from dresses and tube skirts to biker trousers. Minidresses, some with prints abstracted from the visual diary that Malone keeps on his iPhone, were a first. White blocky lace-up boots, and bags made from recycled truck tarpaulins – further evidence of a steadfast commitment to sustainability – were also notable.

The UK government’s commitment to the fashion industry remains steadfast, too, according to Margot James, its junior minister for the creative industries. “Fashion is incredibly important to the government and to our prime minister, who wears British fashion whenever she can,” James said at London Fashion Week’s official opening. “The UK industry is a global one worth £32 billion” – or €36 billion – “and supports around one million jobs across the industry.” That makes it almost as big an employer as the financial sector.

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