Richard Malone: Ready-to-wear AW20
In the pursuit of becoming the next big thing, a lot of emerging designers stray away from their initial ideas which made them so unique in the first place. Richard Malone is definitely not one of those designers. Three and a half years after presenting his first catwalk show as part of the Fashion East platform, Malone is as excited about changing the world as ever. In that time, he’s become somewhat of a poster child of sustainability thanks to his incredibly dedicated focus in rethinking the system. Fabrics, supply chains, production processes… Sustainability isn’t just piggybacking onto his designs – it’s systematically incorporated in every part of his designs and highlighted in the final outcome.
This season, as part of his show notes, Malone announced a brand manifesto titled “w e”. The four “innovation pillars,” he presented included celebrating craft and collaboration (his London tailors and cutters are paid at least £25 per hour), environment (use of regenerative fabrics and plant-based dyes), education (transparency with the customer and exchange of experience with other designers) and recycling & quality control (working with minimal waste cutting technique and recycled yarns). In garment form, these grand concepts translated into a strong, forward-thinking silhouettes which sometimes veered on abstraction but never lost its functionality.
Recycled leathers and shearlings morphed into sleek, Matrix-esque coats, while the final section of voluminous structures in jewel tones (a continuation from last season) felt like inspiring choices for Hollywood’s hottest red carpets. The proportions which Malone showed played with traditions between womenswear and menswear, constantly swapping between cropped and elongated. The best example were the micro-versions of fisherman’s knits which appeared in several plant-based colours as well as the corseted tailoring which carried a sense of history within. On Monday February 17th at 7pm, Malone will show six of the looks from his AW20 collection on the catwalk once again, in the hopes of winning the 2020 Woolmark Prize. And after this kind of powerful statement – his nine competitors better be ready.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.