A Fantasy Mother’s Day Wish List from... Richard Malone

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Richard Malone Autumn/Winter Fall 2019 AW19 fashion week
Richard Malone Autumn/Winter 2019Photography by Paul Phung

What would you give your mother if money was no object? From camper van holidays to an Hermès Birkin, Irish designer Richard Malone compiles an imaginary shopping list for his own, ahead of Mother’s Day this weekend

Mothering Sunday is upon us this weekend and along with it the usual last-minute petrol-station bouquets and Best-Mum-in-the-World-themed merchandise. But what if you could give your mother everything she ever wanted? In answer, London’s brightest young designers have compiled imaginary shopping lists for their own – first, Ireland-born Richard Malone pays ode to his mother Helen Malone with five gifts: from camper-van holidays and home-cooked Irish food to an Hermès Birkin.

“My parents are amazing, even after 33 years together they still behave like teenagers and are besotted with one another. It’s lovely stuff. My mam has always been an incredible mam – not only to me but to all of my extended family and closest friends. Even since moving to London she has stayed super close to all of my friends and still puts us all up when we go back to Wexford. To me, she is the definition of what a good parent should be, she’s a real friend but is also not afraid to be harsh when she needs to be and would literally do anything to get you out of a tricky situation. She has made my brother and I the independent and respectful young men we are today and still puts us back in our place if we step out of line.” – Richard Malone

1. A family meal in Wexford

“The one thing she really misses is more time with my brother and I, and my parents are always planning trips down to London to annoy us, so a traditional family dinner would be first on my gift list. We would go as a family to somewhere with amazing, home-cooked food. I’d book Cistín Eile on Wexford’s South Main Street. It’s a local restaurant with traditional Irish dishes like rissoles which I know my mam loves. It’s also really reasonable and you can eat three courses for less than €20. The food is incredible and it’s not pretentious like some of the restaurants you find in London. No medals for mashing an avocado and charging £15 for it.”

2. A camper van holiday with her dogs

“My mam’s two great loves are my dad and her dog Basil so I would probably send them on some kind of camper van holiday they can all enjoy together. We’ve arranged a road trip for them around Ireland next month to celebrate both their birthdays and also being married for around 170 years. I’d like to extend this to somewhere slightly more exotic – maybe the west coast of France where Basil can still travel with his pet passport. We’re not sure if they will still be valid after Brexit so safer to stay comfortably in the EU. The towns of La Rochelle and Luçon are beautiful, and we’re used to living by the coast so I know both of them would love it, Basil too – he might even find a French boyfriend (or girlfriend)!”

3. A weekend away with her sisters (and a free bar)

“My mam’s also extremely close to her sisters, there’s four of them and she’s the eldest. They’re all outrageous and a real riot when they get together, so I’d send them somewhere with a free bar and some actual craic. They love Cork in the west so maybe somewhere friendly like the Metropole Hotel or a good B&B. Irish hotels and B&Bs are brilliant, bouji things don’t usually work in Ireland. My family also know that the most important thing is spending time together and having a laugh so my mam wouldn’t really respond to a chia face mask or any of that shite. Maybe the odd massage or good pool (with a bar) but local pubs are usually the best – An Bodhran is always great craic.”

4. A drawing by my boyfriend

“My mam isn’t really into art but she’s been hinting at getting a drawing from my boyfriend, Thomas Garnon, for almost a decade. They are really precious and all of his work is beautiful. I’m sure she can get one out of him eventually in exchange for a couple of tinnies and a cuddle with the iconic Basil (which really is one of life’s true luxuries). Either that or she would like a grandchild, which, she’s made no secret, is top of her list.”

5. An Hermès Birkin Bag

“Helen isn’t into luxury gifts or swanky things so to embarrass her I’d get her a Hermès Birkin bag. It’s so ostentatious but also equally close to one of the Lidl shoppers she likes to carry about. It would look great with a windbreaker and Skechers – also very practical for Basil’s toys and poo-bags. Having said that, knowing my mam and dad they would probably sell it on DoneDeal or Adverts.ie and buy a camper van or adopt some more dogs, which is 300 times more chic.”