As the opening show for this autumn/winter’s 2018 London Fashion Week, Richard Malone dazzled with pieces that channel his talent of turning the norm into something extraordinary. Materials like recycled viscose and recyclables (sourced from a community of weavers in Southern India) nod to the sustainability at the core of the brand.
Block colours of red, pink, “Cadbury” purple, blue and green combined with draping aimed to channel the duality of the themes of community and common purpose. Inspired both literally and societally by working-class markets from his youth, the designer has drawn upon the beauty and vitality of the spaces. A stand-out piece in the form of a high-necked, long sleeve floor length gown used red, green and white stripes to further accentuate the female form. The attire was accessorised with a literal nod to the market in the form of a bag that could be used to carry fresh goods.
Woven aprons, headscarves and artisanal jewellery accessorise dramatic and exaggerated draping details to cleverly pin-point the essence of the vivaciousness of the market spaces that inspired Malone. Structured collars, cinched waists and repeat checked patterns act as the antithesis to the more unrefined aspects which draw on the designer’s ongoing fascination with the theme of vulgarity. The repetition of shapes and size are meant to replicate the fabrics found on factory floors and is most eye-catchingly evident in an almost red-tartan check inspired ensemble. The almost floor length tassel fringing, with notes of electric blue sprinkled throughout, is contrasted with bare legs and colour-blocked boots to formulate a striking and honest vision.
Featured at the British Fashion Council show space, Malone’s functional clothing also channels comfort with almost no straight seams to ensure the smoothest fit around the body. The soundtrack of Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money is counteracted with a “would-be leading lady” telling the story of her beauty being compared to Elizabeth Taylor. This cleverly exemplifies the theme of glamour being reimagined.
Dedicated to heroines who aren’t afraid to put in hard work, Malone’s hand-crafted feminine collection that is modern, vivid and unapologetically bold.