Robyn Lynch AW24

The designer brings it back to family for her final show as part of the NEWGEN programme...

Family, both through memory and nostalgia, has always been the backbone of Robyn Lynch’s work. It has sculpted silhouettes, stitched into the fabric and created the designer’s revered and sustained narrative within the LFW schedule. This season, memory and heritage rang true again as the Dublin-born designer put another notch in her commitment to structurally exciting separates that mix nostalgia with practicality. 

Before any clothes were sent down the runway, a grainy video of children in what looked like a school gym or town hall played on a backdrop. Sporadic laughter and high-pitched chatter greeted guests, the video seemingly pulled directly off an old camera from the early noughties or as though someone had chucked on a dusty VHS tape from Lynch’s childhood. 

In one way or another, family is always at the heart of Lynch’s shows. Searching through her father’s wardrobe for Aran knit jumpers, ‘Dad shoes’, and outerwear has shaped Lynch’s work up to now. But for her AW24 offering, this time she turned her attention towards her younger sister, Adrianna, a professional Irish dancer.  

“I vividly remember all these weekends spent in sports halls at competitions, seeing the glitz and the drama that happened on and off stage,” Lynch said of attending Gaelic dancing championships. Although glitz and drama aren’t necessarily normally the words that would come to mind when talking about Lynch’s work, what the designer created was a delicate blend between flamboyance and tradition.

Lynch’s staple Aran knit was on display once again, though this time combined with the endurance and practicality of C.P. Company jackets in the form of full or half vests. Hoodies constructed entirely from the material created rounded, padded silhouettes that conjured memories of sweaters, kept back for dog walking only, that stayed hung up by the back door for the colder nights. Though, Lynch’s real spark of camp came in the form of demi-tutus or dancing skirts which layered on top of nylon outdoor trousers and poked out underneath the C.P. jackets, created with John Carey Design, a designer known for their Irish dance costumes. They were pieces that seem to be designed for the middle ground in mind – the desire of wanting to wear something full of personality, but it’s raining outside and you’re going walking along a wind-battered coastal path. Flashes of blue, sometimes emblazoned with sparkles that you can only catch if you squint, brought the collection to life, and reinforced Lynch’s contemporary take on more traditional items. 

“I loved the contrasting feeling of a rich, abstract devoré against our recycled nylons. So this tension of pragmatic versus decorative became a through line in the process,” Lynch added. 

For some designers, using family as an inspiration can often feel tired, overdone or regurgitated. But for Lynch, family goes deeper than seasonality or trend. Her ongoing ability to take childhood and combine it with delicate flamboyance and nouveau masculinity is what makes her an unflickering light on the LFW calendar. 

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Courtesy of Robyn Lynch