Six Irish designers making their mark at London Fashion Week

From Simone Rocha to JW Anderson, Irish designers are flying the flag at #LFW

 A model wearing a piece by Irish designer Richard Malone, who opened  London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 on Friday. Photograph: Chris Yates

A model wearing a piece by Irish designer Richard Malone, who opened London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 on Friday. Photograph: Chris Yates

 

 Some of the hottest names at London Fashion Week which opened today showing spring summer 2018 and now in its 66th season, are Irish.

Richard Malone, the young independent London-based designer from Wexford, made his debut on the official catwalk on Friday morning, kicking off the event with a collection whose colours were the “supermarket shades” of blue, green and yellow, his inspiration images of 1930s and 1940s showgirls and discarded rubbish.

Richard Malone wearing one of his own designs. Photograph: Pascal Gambarte
Richard Malone wearing one of his own designs. Photograph: Pascal Gambarte

His familiar stripes and patterns were cut asymmetrically on dresses and trousers and accessorised with striped cutout sock boots and gloves. Malone, who is committed to sustainability, works with a community in India who handweave fabrics and work with natural dyes. Among his models was Lorna Foran from Celbridge whose pre Raphaelite looks and russet hair have made her a star internationally.

Also showing on Friday morning was Joanne Hynes, who staged her “see now buy now” collection for Dunnes Stores for buyers and press in One Horse Guards Avenue, a beautiful 19th century listed building, before returning to Dublin for its launch in the Grafton Street store today.

Joanne Hynes: who staged her “see now buy now” collection for Dunnes Stores for buyers and press
Joanne Hynes: who staged her “see now buy now” collection for Dunnes Stores for buyers and press

The elaborate, decorative floral-print dresses and military-style embellishment on coats made a bold statement for a designer whose signature jewelled collars, beanies and, for the first a pair of velvet shoes, were also included in the collection.

On Saturday, all eyes will be on Irish superstar Simone Rocha, who will show her spring/summer collection in the historic 16th century Middle Temple Hall in London, a bastion of the legal establishment, while the avant garde designer from Northern Ireland, J W Anderson, returns to Yeomanry House, a military drill hall in Bloomsbury, his usual location for the twice-yearly womenswear collections.

Simone Rocha in her studio in the east end of London. Her London Fashion Week show takes place on Saturday. Photograph: Joanne O’Brien
Simone Rocha in her studio in the east end of London. Her London Fashion Week show takes place on Saturday. Photograph: Joanne O’Brien
J W Anderson: showing at Yeomanry House on Saturday
J W Anderson: showing at Yeomanry House on Saturday

Anderson, who won both Menswear Designer of the Year and Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2015, has been creative head of the Spanish luxury brand Loewe since 2014. He also shows in Paris twice yearly. He curated his first exhibition, Disobedient Bodies, for the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in Yorkshire this summer, linking art and fashion in innovative ways.

Monday morning will see veteran Irish designer Paul Costelloe, who used to kick off London Fashion Week a decade ago, present his spring summer offerings at the Waldorf – his daughter, opera singer Jessica is auditioning for the Rome Opera House while also organising a breakfast at London French bakery Paul for the event.

Paul Costello: his collection shows on Monday at London Fashion Week
Paul Costello: his collection shows on Monday at London Fashion Week
Sharon Wauchob: showing at London Fashion Week on Tuesday. Photograph Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images
Sharon Wauchob: showing at London Fashion Week on Tuesday. Photograph Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

Finally, Sharon Wauchob from Newtownstewart, Co Fermanagh, who returned to London from Paris where she lived and worked and was one of the few independent female designers to show on the official schedule, will present her collection on Tuesday, the final day of London Fashion Week. Now stocked in Selfridges in London, expect to see her signature boudoir aesthetic of lingerie lace, leather and silk with that offhand femininity that has always characterised her slouchy rock chic looks,

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