How many fashionable clothes are worn one or two times, before being discarded or gently wrapped in tissue paper and placed carefully at the back of the wardrobe?. Perhaps a new trend has come along, or washing/cleaning has taken some of the sheen or colour out of the fabric or softened the sharp contours. Is this sustainable in these environmentally-conscious times (when, with care, a T-shirt can apparently last up to 100 washes (and even after that the fabric can be recycled).
Irish fashion designer Richard Malone has taken over the NOW Gallery, appropriately located across the piazza at North Greenwich from Ravensbourne University which specialises in design, media and fashion. As a boy, he admired the way that the ladies in the local market in Hollywood (County Wicklow, not Los Angeles) used clothes to empower them in a masculine world.
Malone only graduated from Central St Martins a few years ago and already has become a leading light of the future fashion industry, with an opening show at the 2018 London Fashion Week having a focus on sustainability as he incorporated ethical fabrics into his collection such as Econyl, a nylon material made from recycled materials, along with bags designed in partnership with Freitag using recycled tarpaulins from the sides of trucks. ‘As designers today, we need to make something that isn’t damaging….You can change people’s buying patterns. You just need to give them a push.’ (Richard Malone)
At NOW, three different groups of swirling colourful fashions are on show, awaiting visitors to try them on, set against videos of them being worn, hypnotically twirled and twisted, and displays of his sketchbooks that show how Malone develops his designs. And, yes, – hooray – he uses paper and pen for these early creative stages!
NOW continues to show that North Greenwich is a place to visit with its 2018 fashion commission ‘RINSE, REPEAT’ by Richard Malone. And the show has just been extended to early February!