Tuesday 17th September

| BY Helena Fletcher

Richard Malone: Ready-To-Wear SS20

With an emotionally-charged and poignant collection, Richard Malone paid respect and dedicated the show to his grandmother Nellie, who passed away earlier this year. Malone’s designers are inspired by the women around him and, as the show notes made the guests aware, her influence on the designer was truly immeasurable as a life-long creative collaborator and confidant.

The catwalk was interspersed with large organically-shaped sculptural forms, created by set designer Janina Pedan, that explore the notion of underrepresented working-class creatives “taking up space,” a topic that Malone discussed in-depth with his grandmother. The sculptural silver metalwork jewellery, which cursively sat around the models’ necks and waists, hung from their ears or connected their plaits was created in a state of creative refuge, all handmade as a distraction from Malone’s grief. The forms of the jewellery and the set design were reflected in the figure-hugging and accentuating silhouettes, as well as the illustrated prints that could be glimpsed at styled under sheer fabrications. The script-like motifs were taken from the handwriting and drawings from scraps of paper and the backs of receipts that were accumulated whilst Malone sat talking with his grandmother.

Sustainability is not a box to tick for Malone but has been integral to his design process from the start of his brand and studying at Saint Martins. The expressive showpieces which closed the show were created using recycled wadding, panels on the gowns were constructed from cutting scraps from previous seasons and suiting incorporated left-over Taroni silk. Moving away from a fashion system which exerts an immersive amount of pressure on an emerging designer, Malone is disposing of the idea of seasonality, instead opting to name his collection by the date it was shown on. Refreshingly honest and authentic, the spirit was a pervasively empowering celebration of life, creativity and change.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.