ROBYN LYNCH EXPLORES WHAT IT MEANS TO BE IRISH, LONDON FASHION WEEK AUTUMN WINTER 23
This season was an opportunity for Robyn Lynch to look within and explore what it means – and looks – to be Irish. So in place of a journey to somewhere far away, the designer is taking you to the rainy fields of the Emerald Isle. As a finalist of the 2023 International Woolmark Prize, Robyn was tasked with exploring the topic of ‘dialogue’. Her own interpretation hones in on stereotypes as forms of communication and the numerous associations her identity garners with others – without as much as uttering a word.
“I Googled ‘Irish T-shirt’ and what came out were a bunch of green, leprechauns, shamrocks, pints of Guinness and harps,” says Robyn.
But instead of trying to prove the stereotypes wrong, she leaned into the iconography by turning those Irish-isms on their head and presenting them as symbols of pride.
This season started with a singular colour palette, consisting of four different shades. Pale pistachio, lizard green, deep sage and phthalo green come together in a symphony of hues, executed in Robyn’s most ambitious textile portfolio yet. For AW23, the focus is almost exclusively on Merino wool, a fabric that has become part of her vernacular over the years.
“It’s much more complex than all synthetic and most natural fibres, which provides Merino wool with a unique set of benefits that’s unmatched. The fabric absorbs UV radiation and is both 100% biodegradable and renewable, as well as naturally resistant to fire due to its high moisture and nitrogen context. It’s thermoregulatory and its fibres can transfer large quantities of moisture vapour from the body. This means that the microclimate next to the skin stays dry, which really came into play when designing the pieces,” says Lynch.