Thursday 14th February

| BY Dino Bonacic

Richard Malone: Ready-To-Wear AW19

Ain’t no party like a kid’s birthday party! With half-eaten Baby Bell wheels, brand’s own fizz bottles and Colin the Caterpillar cakes cut into pieces, there were messy party tables scattered around the 180 Strand, setting the mood for the fun times we were about to have. The expression of the day came courtesy of Richard Malone’s show notes, painting a picture of a family-filled gathering – “forced politeness”. You know that feeling of pretending you care about what happened to your second cousin since the last time you saw him, exactly a year ago on your last birthday. This emotion was reflected in the colourful wardrobe Malone presented through the questioning of appropriateness. Just waiting to be judged by their family members, the models walked out in the sculptural shapes of outerwear and fun, flared-out trousers. Garish colours, some reminiscent of Union Jack hues (“Brexit is constantly on my mind,” said Malone backstage after the show), and a never-ending show-and-tell of incredible techniques – this was a party worth attending.  

The personal story behind the collection came from Malone’s own nostalgia – yearning to belonging to a community where doors are open and street parties are there on the weekend. Kids’ perception of adult clothes – seeing bras drying on the washing line and wondering what they are. This childlike approach was reflected in the moulded cups that featured in dresses and tops. A general sense of comfort was apparent, perhaps it was all the upcycled dog beds in the collection. One coat, in red-white-and-blue “fun fur” was the absolute highlight. We want it, and we want it now. As the intense dance beats of Lizzo’s Boys played in the finale, we had no doubts – despite the family awkwardness, this party was a success.

Photographs by Jason-Lloyd Evans.