For her latest collection, the Irish designer partnered with Columbia, using their deadstock fabrics to create one-of-a-kind pieces. This season’s colour palette focused on earthy tones. Lynch was inspired by “old Irish leaflets” curated by her friend Mark. Greys, whites, greens and oranges, the collection features an array of outerwear pieces, such as knit sweaters, tactical jackets and reworked shorts, as well as accessories such as cross-body bags and bucket hats. As Lynch herself puts it “Casual hiking, you know, you want to go hiking, and you also want to go to the pub after”.
While we caught up with Lynch, she explained, “the Columbia jackets are much more fitted because they’re for function, right, for skiing, so they’re much more fitted there. I wanted to open it up, make it a bit more loose, make it a bit more ill fitted. We [incorporated] some knitwear as well to have that traditional Irish knit, which I’ve done before in the past and then construct these hybrid jumpers”.
Repurposing old Columbia pieces and fabrics, the brand offered Lynch “access to their archives and deadstock on their website in the winter clearance section, so everything was super limited”. Creating a sustainable brand through deadstock fabric, Lynch also sources her personal sustainable and biodegradable materials, including nylons made from ocean waste. “The materials” is the hardest thing in Lynch’s sustainable approach. “Apart from that, I try my best to minimise my impact”. She goes on to say, ”We work with this company called First Mile to recycle all of our fabric scraps, and they drop off and collect the 23kg bag. That bag will last me like four months, five months, and then every bit of scrap will go into that. Because [we’re] working with deadstock, the numbers are so low. That’s not over producing, you’re not over manufacturing”.
Presented as a short film directed by Spencer Young, who previously worked with the designer on her FW20 collection, the collection-showing takes place in England’s secret and mysterious caves. Illusion-like images and lights can be seen projected onto the walls, inspired by none other than the Simpsons’ Mr Burns, after he forgets to take his medication and starts to “glow radionic”. The film is accompanied by the sounds of Irish DJ Or:la, incorporating “all these kid’s voices from Dublin that’s quite eerie and subtle”.
Referencing her home country and her teen years spent in Ireland has become a vital part of the brand. For Robyn “it’s just the importance of having a laugh”. Yet, it wasn’t until the designer moved away that this nostalgia hit. When I was in Ireland, on my BA, everyone was Irish, right? So everyone had the exact same point of view on things. “But then when I came over to London, and I was the only Irish person in the whole class. I had so many references that were quite rich in culture, and everybody did in the class. It really made me look at it in a different light”, she recalls. Rather than a direct patriotic reference, Lynch states “It’s more about a mood or an attitude, whether that’s like, the music or a photograph or a meme or the brand I choose or reference pictures. Maybe the people I work with or the graphics or something, I’ve just tried to do it quite subtly”.
Creating a light-hearted, unique and nostalgic menswear collection, Robyn Lynch has us all itching for August, when the pieces will hit the stores. Make sure to check out the full film down below.