This Jumpsuit Prototype (2017) is born from a confluence of designer Richard Malone’s personal experiences of the garment type, and his deep understanding of its mutations and iterations across history, particularly in the last century. Malone grew up in rural Ireland and identifies strongly with his working-class roots, which encompassed, among other things, functional clothing for construction sites. He looked into the 1920s to engage the bold color and egalitarian attitudes of the Russian Constructivists, who wanted to collapse art into life and eradicate class divides; the jumpsuit appeared in their theatrical experiments.
Malone was also inspired by jumpsuits shaped from a single piece of cloth, a frugal and considered method close to his own practice. He steamed, split, and sculpted a recycled stretch of acrylic he developed, creation dramatic optical effects. The top of the jumpsuit offers many openings, allowing for multi-wear options that are both practical and expressive. The result is a one-size-fits-all, unisex ensemble that manages to capture the glamour and the grit on the jumpsuit’s multifarious history.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.