Robyn Lynch's F/W 19: Interview With Robyn Lynch
X: Your proud Irish Heritage shines through very clearly in your collections, explain to us a bit about your inspiration process? I read you rely on the RTE Archives which would be Ireland’s version of the BBC--can you explain a bit how you find inspiration and turn that into a well-rounded collection?
RL: My inspiration always starts at home. My mam is a hoarder which has become very useful in the last few years when searching for inspiration. It will start as a discussion around the kitchen table and then the photograph press gets opened in the house and we start looking through and telling stories. This is the part I love and enjoy most because my dad is a character and a photo will always have the funniest story behind it. I then develop the initial ideas with the aid of the RTE archives. You can search for a particular date and get all news articles and programs from that time. It is an endless source of information. Turning it into a collection just happens then quite naturally and will start with key pieces from these images and footage which I then grow into looks and fill out through my personal style too.
X: Your signature which has been developed and made apparent to the consumer in a very short period of time consists of color-blocked, hybridized Arran knits. Can you give us a look into your dying and mixing process?
RL: My dying and mixing process comes from my background in Textiles from the National College of Art & Design in Dublin. Here I learned the skills for printed textiles and dyeing processes. This is an important part of the collection for me as I am very particular with shades and colours. A look into this process would be my hands and nails permanently dyed a shade of blue with lots and lots of handwritten notes and calculations on every scrap of paper I can find around me when mixing. Sometimes written on my hands or arms too. Below is an example of pages from a notebook when dying the knit for my MA collection. This collection was colour matched to the Irish Flag.
X: Your ‘impressively cohesive’ graduate collection caught the eye of renowned Menswear Critic, Charlie Porter followed by that of Fashion East--if it weren’t for those key players where do you think you would be today?
RL: I wonder this myself every day and I really don't know the answer, but I am quite a messy person when it comes to portfolio, I'm not sure my technical drawings could have got me a job so I am quite lucky it has all worked out this way.
X: How’s your recent move from Ireland to London been for a very proud Dublin-er like yourself? Has there been any homesickness? I’d imagine when your collections are so closely inspired and contrived from your Irish-ness, there may be some homesickness--how’s the transition been for you?
RL: I studied over here for two years and lived here for interning back in 2015 so London does feel like a second home to me. Homesickness normally kicks in on a Sunday evening when there is no roast on but I have some family over here along with half of Ireland so sometimes it really doesn't feel so different. I also have a great team of Interns who is 70% made up of Irish students so we keep the spirit alive in the studio.
X: In a world of overthinkers, you’ve been able to not over-intellectualize fashion and design Casualwear for a broader market. What can you contribute to the success of your craft and cohesiveness to? How did your past education play a role?
RL: Thank you, That really means a lot and I think it just stems from my personality of being quite straight forward mixed with a bit of previous education. When studying my Masters at the University of Westminster, Ike Rust would always ask if you liked what you were designing/making. I think this is something I try and ask myself every day in an aim to keep relevance within the clothes.
X: If there was one meal you had to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
RL: I'm not just saying this to be cliché but it would honestly be Irish soda brown bread and Kerrygold butter.