Each season, Robyn Lynch digs deeper into her family wardrobe to find gems of inspiration. Though instead of the usual peek into her father’s chest of drawers, SS23 kicked off with an emotional heirloom originally owned by her mother. Back in the 1983, Susan Lynch flew to Mallorca with her friends and brought back a T-shirt as a proof of the good times. With neon smiley faces scattered generously throughout, intertwined with various phrases referencing Lucy-fueled raves, this dear, worn out souvenir instantly brought feelings of joy to Robyn. And what better to do with joy than create a whole collection around it?
The humorous graphics of the Mallorca acid tee sparked a trail of thought which led Robyn on a thrilling eBay hunt for the ugliest, funniest, most charming souvenir T-shirts from all over the world. The sarcasm in the words and their fonts as well as the gaudy cartoons that jumped out of the cotton became an emblem of an imaginary destination. It’s the place where the Robyn Lynch boys are heading for hols next summer: an all-inclusive resort that’s somewhere very hot and very cheap. While they might look ready for a mountain bike ride or surfing the waves, in their semi-transparent crinkle nylon trousers, they prefer showing off their fits while downing strong, nightmare-inducing drinks next to the plunge pool. The recipe? Generous pour of Stroganoff vodka, a few cubes of ice and a splash of any fruit squash accessible.
This core story of the collection focuses down from the big picture as the Irish designer re-imagines mundane clothing items into elevated pieces of design goodness. A particular favourite from the online trawl were the crab puns, omnipresent in the world of drunk and horny tourists. But instead of cheap cotton, Robyn imagines her puntastic T-shirt in a light jacquard knit created in fine Italian yarn. Miniature crab embroideries also appear on trousers and jersey pieces as abstract ornaments, adding texture and dimensions to classic menswear silhouettes. The towelling poncho, a symbol of safety and warmth your mum used to force you to wear, is here reinterpreted as an elevated piece of outerwear executed in two-toned bouclé. And of course there’s a hoodie – reversible and made in a rounded shape that replicates its look when lying flat on the beach.
“After working with some incredible specialty brands for several seasons, I felt like this was the right time to refocus on my own creative expression and put to use all the knowledge we accumulated over the past years – on fabrications, technology and science behind them, as well as the utilitarian aspect of fashion. So I wanted this season to be injected with just as much fun as it is with fine textiles and carefully-crafted silhouettes,” the designer says. This is perhaps best showcased through the pieces made in crisp Irish linen, with sleek curved seams and invisible zips turning a drab pair of vintage cargos into something much more chic. A fundamental merging of beauty and functionality is becoming a signature of Robyn’s work, as she continues to pave the way for her unique sportswear that also doubles as party garb.
The colours of SS23 form the ultimate summer palette: brick orange and charcoal brown, best complemented with the sand beige and the shade of yellow mustard you might find baking in the sun on the terrace of the chip shop. Seasonal textiles, always a considered curation of sustainably-led decisions, include natural fibres and specially dyed nylons made out of Seaqual® yarn that’s woven out of ocean waste. The process of reworking is also apparent in the choice of accessories which sees Robyn and her team altering a covetable archive of vintage sunglasses. The final piece to the puzzle is the footwear – a range of customised Crocs, crafted to match the full look. It’s the Robyn Lynch way, after all.
Styling: Ben Schofield, Casting: Jonathan Johnson, Make-up: Jimmy Owen Jones, Hair: Sophie Jane Anderson At Future Rep, Shoes: Crocs, Music: Soltura, Show Notes: Dino Bonačić, Graphic Design: Other Office, Studio Team: Holly Francis, Theodore O’shaughnessy, Sihan Liu, Yu Li, Rebecca Halpenny, Jack Frawley, Production: Aw+c, Press: Village, Styling Assistants: Kit Swann, Dominik Radomski
Special Thank You To:
Ben Schofield, Jonathan Johnson, Jimmy Jones, Sophie Anderson, Dino Bonačić, Lamayra Hanley Evans, Alice Sear, Antony Waller, Sarah Mower And The Newgen Judging Panel, Simon Sweeney, Shauna Buckley, Holly Francis, Past And Present Interns, Crocs, Hendricks, Howling Hops, Saoirse Ní Scanláin, Os Studio, Emma Murray, Andrew Nuding, Kieran Kilgallon, Morgan Eve Russell, Joe Cruz, Baldoyle Print, Mam, Dad, Enya & Adi