Robyn Lynch’s Irish roots shine via all of her work: the London-based designer, and Fashion East alumnus, has referenced her house nation since her earliest collections. Lynch’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection was break up into three distinct colours, with fashions sporting full appears to be like in inexperienced, white and orange in homage to the Irish flag. Different collections, together with Spring/Summer 2021, have celebrated the Dublin neighborhood by which Lynch grew up; the designer steadily makes use of reworkings of conventional Irish clothes as motifs, together with the basic Aran knitwear.
However this wasn’t all the time the plan. When Lynch left Eire to acquire her grasp’s at Westminster College in 2016, she didn’t intend to have a good time the nation so clearly in her work. “Once I was finding out in Dublin, I couldn’t wait to get farther from Eire,” she remembers, “however once I came visiting right here, I had one thing particular that nobody else might deliver to the desk when it comes to references, previous household pictures and conventional clothes. The juxtaposition of being from someplace else in a special nation, having that tradition that nobody else had in my class.”
“I had one thing particular when it comes to references, previous household pictures and conventional clothes.”
And by referencing her personal reminiscences of rising up in Eire, Lynch has been capable of capable of contain her household within the design course of. “When you possibly can share a picture with your loved ones, or ask your dad and mom for references, it makes the whole lot a lot extra fulfilling than getting a e book a couple of painter from the ’60s who I do know nothing about. When one thing comes naturally, the whole lot turns into rather a lot simpler.” Whereas asking her household for references and inspiration provides a private contact, it has additionally helped Lynch fill a niche within the extra anglo-centric institutional information she had entry to.
Whereas researching throughout her MA, Lynch was unable to seek out books showcasing Irish youth tradition. In a sea of books and articles about totally different British subcultures, Pony Youngsters by Perry Ogden was the one e book within the Westminster library that Lynch might relate to. “Now we have that [youth culture history], however I wished to shine a lightweight on it,” she continues. “That’s a standard thread all through my work.”
The imaginative and prescient of Eire that Lynch presents in her work is wealthy in nostalgia and humor. Talking about these influences, she talks about her personal adolescence and rising up “on the cusp of change” within the ‘90s and 00s, simply as social media started to take maintain and form our every day interactions. “It was such a special vitality than now,” Lynch says, “It was a special world. I take pleasure in wanting again at the moment.”
Lynch’s newest challenge, which launches today, is a collaborative assortment with Rapha, which made its debut throughout London’s first digital fashion week in June. Lynch linked with the model after seeing inventive director — and fellow Irishwoman — Ger Tierney share one in all her pictures on Instagram. Lynch requested Tierney if she might choose her brains in regards to the model, talking about Rapha merchandise and sharing biking and pictures books.
For Tierney, the need to collaborate with Lynch got here from their shared roots. “Being Irish, Robyn’s work clearly actually spoke to me,” she tells HYPEBEAST. “There’s a lot ardour for tradition and historical past in her work. Her use of knitwear and print is pure nostalgia, but I’ve by no means seen something prefer it earlier than.”
“I like to work with creatives who haven’t labored in biking earlier than, and seeing what spin they could have on the game,” Tierney added. “By taking Rapha’s signature efficiency items, she reworked them into one thing else fully. Most significantly, the challenge was constructed across the deadstock and that was actually probably the most thrilling a part of it.”
Though the dialog between the 2 started on Instagram, their collaboration itself happened via necessity. As COVID-19 unfold internationally and lockdown measures got here into impact, Lynch was hit exhausting by retailers cancelling their orders. Wanting round for an injection of money, Lynch determined to participate within the British Fashion Council’s digital showcase. “I requested Rapha if that they had something to donate that I might upcycle, recut and make into new hybrids,” Lynch remembers, “Ger despatched me a bag of issues. I didn’t know what to do with it.” The gadgets started to take form, and an impromptu photoshoot along with her stylist Ben Schofield and artist Joe Cruz adopted. “It was so easy, we simply weren’t considering,” Lynch continues. “It was humorous seeing the distinction between a big-scale manufacturing and one thing a lot extra easy, how each can have equal influence.”
“It’s about how I can deliver one thing conventional into the twenty first century.”
After the preliminary presentation at London Fashion Week, Lynch was contacted by Browns about producing a bigger assortment. “I mentioned sure earlier than I’d even requested Rapha,” Lynch remembers, though Rapha was eager to assist and Tierney gave Lynch containers of previous samples and supplies, “I’ve simply been in my flat since then, reducing up previous jackets.”Talking in regards to the collaboration, Browns’ junior menswear purchaser Joe Brunner pays tribute to Lynch’s work. “It feels extremely real and natural. The entire character of the model is exclusive, the best way by which it carries itself, from the product to the editorials… it’s all genuine. It’s nostalgic, it appears to be like to the ’80s and ’90s and that resonates with lots of people within the business immediately.”
“I really like that the gathering combines Robyn’s ’90s informal put on with the technicality of activewear,” he continues. “Uniting Robyn’s acquainted knitwear with nylon and water resistant jackets isn’t any straightforward activity.” For Lynch, that merging of heritage with efficiency was an important factor of the challenge. “These Aran jumpers have such a resonance in Irish historical past,” she provides. “They have been constructed for sailors going out to sea to maintain them heat. It’s a conventional, staple piece, however I might by no means put on one now. So it’s about how I can deliver one thing conventional into the twenty first century.” In some ways these things are an encapsulation of what Lynch is doing with all of her work, taking a nostalgic Irish affect and reinterpreting it to work for the current day.
The affect of biking extends past Lynch’s collaboration with Rapha, and into her SS21 assortment. “The chapter wasn’t closed, it wanted a bit extra,” Lynch says. “I checked out sponsorships and graphic logos for SS21. I took all the businesses that had sponsored me from the previous, from the individuals who did my embroidery in SS20 and the individuals who constructed the stands for my BA assortment, all the best way as much as my mum or dad’s firm.” These totally different firms, all of that are necessary components of the neighborhood round Lynch, are represented with their logos showing on biking jerseys all through the SS21 assortment.
The lookbook to accompany the SS21 assortment additionally has its roots in Lynch’s work with Rapha. Whereas working with the label, Lynch was given entry to its library, which included a e book by Irish photographer Taz Darling shot in the course of the Tour de Eire in 2008. These pictures have then been used because the backdrop for the lookbook. “They’re pretty, there are such a lot of hidden particulars in them that I discover humorous,” Lynch says, “whether or not it’s an orange carton on the ground or the expressions of individuals within the background.”
“This 12 months has given me the arrogance to only do what works for me, as an alternative of getting to observe the normal path.”
Understandably, the previous 12 months has been up and down for Lynch. She’s fast to pay tribute to Browns, which has helped her via its work on the Rapha collaboration. “It’s the best way they assist younger designers, from their cost phrases proper all the way down to the tiny issues,” Lynch says, “their assist for younger designers presently has been so nice, actually once I wanted it probably the most.” COVID-19 and lockdown have additionally had constructive impacts on the best way Lynch works.
In addition to catalyzing her collaboration with Rapha, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns over the previous 12 months have led Lynch to how she operates. “COVID has helped me to work smaller and work extra project-based,” Lynch provides, “it’s given me the arrogance to work in another way. It was all the time apparent for a small model that it’s not sustainable whenever you’re on that platform, to be making so many appears to be like and dealing out of your kitchen. This 12 months has given me the arrogance to only do what works for me, as an alternative of getting to observe the normal path.”
Lynch’s Rapha collaboration and SS21 assortment are the primary results of this new approach of working, marking two smaller collections nearer collectively. In addition they function new instructions, with Lynch eager to level out a brand new relaxed silhouette coming from her Rapha assortment. On the root of all of the designs, nonetheless, is Lynch’s nostalgic imaginative and prescient of Eire.