Earlier this year, Richard Malone published an open letter, urging voters in his home country of Ireland to appeal the eighth amendment. The designer argued emotively and articulately, using both statistics and anecdotes to express his fervent belief in women's rights to bodily autonomy; specifically, the right to an abortion.
In the letter, published in Vogue, Malone states: 'Many assume the role of women in a working-class home is to be subservient or passive. My experience is the total opposite: the women in my life are resilient, strong, nurturing, intelligent and complex. They are the opposite of submissive.' For S/S 19, Malone designed a collection that revered these women.
Malone's palette is bold and unwavering. Rich double-faced satins in duck egg, chartreuse and punch pink were exaggerated around the shoulders and soft on the waist. A lime mini-coat was cut with exceptional lightness; while the tailored front skimmed the model's form, the back cocooned with a gentle curve.
Tassels and fringing flounced as the models kicked forward, but there was nothing flighty about this collection. Ruched dresses could be loosened or tightened at will. Here, Malone allows his customer choice - to flash flesh or make modest. Utility details included large pockets and netting; there was a defensive feel to these clothes, an unapologetic armour.
This collection could have benefitted from a tighter edit. There can be no doubt that Richard Malone's mind is simply bursting with ideas, we saw an overflowing font of sartorial propositions today. In the show notes, the designer referenced his "camera roll of crap". There was no crap on this runway, but certain looks offered the same concepts as a stronger outfit that had preceded it.
A deeply earnest designer, Malone always nails his colours to the mast. His commitment to sustainability is unwavering; he uses Econyl, a regenerative, re-usable nylon and shows bags fashioned from recycled tarpaulin, courtesy of like-minded label Freitag. And, fundamentally, Richard Malone continues to promote the women in his life, showing a collection for S/S 19 that is the opposite of submissive.