I caught up with Robyn before her debut show, she appeared to be keeping a focused and calm composure. “We were here till midnight last night, and now have to go through the casting race, but after that it should start getting exciting again” she said of her last 24 hours.
As much as her surroundings were hectic, Lynch had a clear vision leading up to the show, showing us some of the looks that made their way down the runway this weekend. Lynch first took me through the pieces from the collection that form her ongoing collaboration with Columbia. Honing the collab from the trousers, knits and jackets from her last seasons, this time around, there are 10 Columbia x Robyn Lynch jackets on offer.
“I just feel like the technology works best in a jacket, they were the best performers and have made up some really interesting hybrids” the designer explained. For the line of reworked puffer jackets, Lynch’s confidence and command of her materials shines through. “I’m not afraid to make cuts anymore” she explained, “this jacket used to be a pair of trousers, and I’ve added our nylon and ocean-waste plastics and pattern”. The Irish designer also played with the popular notion of a puffer jacket – instead of the stitching, which creates the usual demarcations along the arms, Lynch chose to add a scalloped edge with nylon piping to create a similarly undulating but entirely unique effect on hers.
Elsewhere, she kept things streamlined for her main line collection – choosing to focus primarily on updated, technical knitwear instead of competing against the outerwear of Columbia. Moving beyond merino wool, Lynch introduced two new cottons and spent time “studying the yarns, stitching and patterns to develop (her) knitwear vocabulary” for this season.
One particularly striking look came in the form of a bright, almost neon, yellow-green knit jumper, with contrast zip detailing and yarn choice creating a well-worn effect. Paired with this are Lynch’s favourite item from the collection; a pair of waterproofed ‘slime’ trousers that have been in the works for over 18 months. In the same neon hue, these were created from a trousers pattern Lynch found on eBay – a fact which (literally) shines through in their vintage silhouette, contrasted with its futuristic design process and material.
The collection also delves into utilising new technology in its process: Lynch gave a Japanese-based algorithm company “pictures and scans of (her) Dad’s old football jerseys, and they inputted them into their algorithm and distorted it, to create a new artwork from that”. The result? Thin, form-fitted knits that bore the imprint of local Irish football jerseys, but updated with a visual glitch, that has the effect of being “sprayed-on” to the model.
As ever, Lynch injects healthy doses of nationalism and heritage into her collection – a reflective ‘monogram’ is created with the outline of Ireland, dotted on specifically-dyed jeans, boxer style shorts and knits. “We were referencing the Ralph Lauren logo, that used to appear all over their shorts”, she explained. Imbuing patriotism with futurism, here Lynch has hit a design jackpot: creating wearable garments that carry her brand narrative like a badge of honour.
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