Saturday 19th September

| BY Paul Toner

Richard Malone: Ready-to-Wear SS21

2020 has been the year of the sweatpant. Who would’ve thought we’d be spending the turn of the new decade sat on the couch all-day, swapping out our everyday fashions for the comfiest things we could find buried at the back of the wardrobe?

As a second wave of Covid-19 gathers speed in the distance, many designers are put in a tricky predicament. Where does eveningwear live in a world where the pubs close at 10PM and the clubs remain shuttered?

Irish designer Richard Malone believes the living room is the new dancefloor and the most extravagant of gowns can still be enjoyed from home. In the press release for his SS21 collection, entitled Rehearsal, the designer speaks of wanting to create “clothes you want to climb into, to run away in,” crafting a portal of escapism through a series of elegant evening gowns created with deadstock materials from previous collections, in which he hand-dyed in his bathtub.

Silhouettes were tamer than we can usually expect from Malone, who summoned cropped trousers, structural gowns and strong-shouldered jackets out of a lavish velvet which was developed by fabric weavers in Tamil Nadu, India. Old theatre curtains are re-purposed into armour-like structures, pieced together like origami. It was a healthy dose of dramatic dressing that we’ve been starved of for months.